Govt eases rules for entry into fuel retail sector

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar briefs the media on cabinet decisions, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

The government on Wednesday opened up fuel retailing norms, allowing non-oil companies to set up petrol pumps to increase competition.

Briefing reporters about the decisions taken by the Cabinet, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar said the opening up the fuel retailing will increase investment and competition.

At present, to obtain a fuel retailing licence in India, a company needs to invest Rs 2,000 crore in either hydrocarbon exploration and production, refining, pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.

"The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a review of guidelines for giving authorisation for the marketing of transportation fuel," he said.

Companies with Rs 250 crore turnover can enter fuel retailing, subject to the condition that 5 per cent of the outlets will be in rural areas.

State-owned oil marketing companies - Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) - currently own most of 65,000 petrol pumps in the country.

Reliance Industries, Nayara Energy - formerly Essar Oil and Royal Dutch Shell are the private players in the market but with limited presence. Reliance, which operates the world's largest oil refining complex, has less than 1,400 outlets. 

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