New Delhi: The procedure to appoint dealers for around 50,000 petrol pumps have been halted by state-run oil companies after the recent announcement of the election schedule, sources said. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s top refiner, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) advertised petrol pump dealership opportunities for about 78,500 locations across the country in November last year. Applications have been received for around 95 percent of all advertised locations, out of which 56 percent obtained multiple applications and 39 percent received single application.
This is primarily a result of the relaxation of rules regarding financial capability and land ownership of applicants.
A third of the advertised locations finalised
IOC, HPCL and BPCL have already finalised the winners for close to a third of the advertised locations following draw of lots and examination of bids. The three companies are presently verifying the credentials of winners.
From the winner, over 2,000 applicants have received formal appointment letters or letters of intent (LoI) by companies.
In line with the past election practice, companies have put the selection process on hold for the remaining pumps where winners have not been declared yet, a company executive said. A previous government order withheld companies from making appointments during the election season, he said. Another executive said that companies are also thinking of seeking clarity from the Election Commission on the matter.
Nevertheless, these days the government has no direct role in selecting petrol pump dealers. The government has provided state companies with the authority to design their own selection guidelines for a dealer and appoint dealers in a transparent way.