Friday, September 30, 2022

OMCs cancelled 40 retail dealerships in 5 years over fuel adulteration

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New Delhi: Public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) — like Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) — have cancelled a total of 40 dealerships in the last four years on account of adulteration, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said.

Action taken in line with dealership agreement

In a written response in the Lok Sabha, Pradhan said, “Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) namely, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) take action against the erring retail outlet dealers as per the provisions of Marketing Discipline Guidelines and Dealership Agreement subsisting between RO dealer and OMC.” As per the provisions of Marketing Discipline Guidelines and terms and conditions of the dealership agreement subsisting between OMC and the dealers, penal action in established cases of adulteration is a termination of the dealership.

Monitoring mechanism

OMCs have a system of monitoring and surveillance at retail outlets that involves surprise inspections at the retail outlet. A separate Quality Assurance Cell (QAC) has been created for carrying out these inspections. “Regular/surprise inspections are carried out at retail outlets by OMC field officers/ senior officers throughout the country. In case of stock variation beyond permissible limits, density failure, filter paper test failure, suspected tampering in DU and also during special drives/campaigns or in case of a specific complaint against the retail outlets, company officials draw samples and forward them for testing as per the laid down procedure,” Pradhan said.

Samples are also drawn from petrol pumps at random and sent for testing to authorised laboratories. Tankers are sealed before leaving the company premises to protect against pilferage/adulteration en-route. The tamper-proof locking system has been introduced in tank trucks delivering petrol/diesel at retail outlets. A three-tier sampling system is followed to help in ascertaining exactly where adulteration could have taken place, said the minister.

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