Indian Oil's faux pas on fuel price cut: it's 1 paisa, not 60 paise

Indian Oil's faux pas on fuel price cut: it's 1 paisa, not 60 paise

An employee attends to a customer at a petrol pump, as the prices of petrol and diesel keep showing volatility, in Guwahati on Wednesday. PTI

A faux pas by India's largest fuel retailer Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on its website that petrol prices have been cut by 60 paise per litre, and diesel by 56 paise, led to excitement among consumers on Wednesday morning, which turned into a rude shock when they reached petrol pumps: the actual cut was only one paisa per litre.

The IOC website at 6 am on Wednesday said it had cut petrol prices by 60 paise and diesel by 56 paise. At 9.30 am, the website corrected the error saying the revision was only minor. It said due to a technical glitch, the price revision was shown as 60 paise.

Petroleum dealers said the communication on the website is an information only for the general public and has nothing to do with them. The dealers receive price-related communication through a different channel.

"There was no miscommunication to dealers. No one sold petrol at 60 paise per litre cut," All India Petroleum Dealers Association president Ajay Bansal told DH.

But before that, confusion prevailed on who would bear the loss if fuels were sold at hefty cuts. Industry sources even said that if there were losses, they would have to be borne by oil companies.

The government, however, came under attack from all quarters for a paltry one-paisa cut in fuel prices after 16 days of consecutive hike since the Karnataka polls.

Fuel prices kept increasing after May 14. In this period, petrol became dearer by Rs 3.8 per litre, while diesel rose by Rs 3.38 per litre.

Political parties and the public took to Twitter to criticise the government. Using a hashtag #EKPaiseKiSarkar, the Congress said on its Twitter handle: "the reduction in fuel prices by ONE paisa is a cruel prank played by the Modi Govt on Indian citizens."

Is it a prank, asks Rahul

"Dear PM, You've cut the price of Petrol and Diesel today by 1 paisa. ONE paisa!?? If this is your idea of a prank, it's childish and in poor taste," Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted. "P.S. A ONE paisa cut is not a suitable response to the #FuelChallenge I threw you last week," he said.

Under #ModiKiNiyat, CPM Secretary General Sitaram Yechury said "flagged Rs 3 lakh crores of relief for big corporate unpaid loans. 1 paise relief for the common Indian".

The Centre had assured last week that it would come up with a "long-term" solution on fuel rates which would be "sustainable". Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal even hinted at the GST Council soon taking a call on bringing petrol and diesel in its fold.

Reports also said that the government was planning to impose a "windfall" tax on producers such as ONGC.