New Delhi: The Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) plan to allot about 55,649 petrol pumps across the country to double the existing network. Retail sales of petrol and diesel are increasing at the rate of approximately 8 percent and 4 percent per annum respectively and to make the most of this upward curve in the run-up to the 2019 General Elections, oil marketing companies (OMCs) — Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) — are planning a major expansion of the petrol pump network and are seeking applications from retailers. Expansions are undertaken by OMCs to expand the network from time to time, but what is special this time is that for the first time, applications are being sought from retail outlet dealers online. The entire application process has been simplified and made more transparent with the idea of improving ease of business and expanding the network of retail outlets (petrol pumps) in tandem with the growth in demand of petrol and diesel.
The single-most most important criteria for selection is the availability of suitable land at the advertised location/stretch. Applicants without land can also apply, however, they would be expected to offer land when called for.
At a press conference held on November 25 to issue advertisements seeking applications from dealers all across the country, Vishal Bajpai, deputy general manager for Delhi Retail with HPCL and state-level coordinator for oil industry said that the plan is to add 170 more petrol pumps to Delhi alone and to make the offer lucrative, the required paperwork has been reduced massively. Apart from expanding the retail network, the move is expected to generate employment opportunities as well.
The advertisements, inviting applications from prospective candidates/dealers by December 24, have been issued to all major national and regional dailies. A detailed version of the advertisement, the brochure and the eligibility criteria can be accessed on www.petrolpumpdealerchayan.in.
Gorav, state head (retail) for Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with BPCL, said that the process of dealer selection has been simplified in line the government's emphasis on "Ease of doing business." User-friendly online application has been introduced. The application form has also been simplified. The rigmarole of submitting voluminous documents by the applicants, in support of eligibility, has been dispensed with. Only the selected candidate would be required to produce the documents. Similarly, the eligibility norms have also been relaxed. "The eligible candidate would have to be a citizen of India, should have passed Class X exams. And that is all. We have tried to keep the entry bar lower. Earlier people had to be either Class XII pass or a graduate to qualify for the dealership. All that has been done away with," said Gorav. The single-most most important criteria for selection is the availability of suitable land at the advertised location/stretch. Applicants without land can also apply, however, they would be expected to offer land when called for. For the first time, computerised "draw of lots/bid opening" would be held under the aegis of an independent agency to bring in more transparency. The plan is to develop retail outlets with the latest technology, including automation.
An official said that no advertisements have been issued for Assembly poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram, they will be out after the elections are over. The OMCs are eyeing at least 9,000-10,000 sites in these states, the official added. However, the aggression with which the expansion plan is being followed seems to be well-timed with the upcoming General Elections.