New Delhi: State-run oil companies have received over four lakh applications for 78,500 dealerships across India, demonstrating that the country’s entrepreneurs still see filling stations as a viable business that offers sustained cash flow at little risk. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s top refiner, advertised for half of all the locations for petrol pumps, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) advertised opportunities for the rest of the positions.
Applications received for 95% of advertised locations
Applications have been received by close to 95 percent of all advertised locations, out of which 56 percent obtained multiple applications and 39 percent received single application. This is primarily because of the relaxation of rules regarding financial capability and land ownership of applicants. In the previous recruitment round in 2014-15, only half the advertised locations received applications. At the time, just those applicants with certain financial capability and control over land could apply. The final tally of pumps that may eventually come up could still be low, despite high initial interest. This is mainly because of difficulties of arranging land and regulatory clearances. The success rate reached just 17 percent in the previous round.
13,000 pumps likely to be set up
Over 13,000 pumps could be set up at this rate, which would boost transporters, equipment suppliers and jobs. A dealer might likely take around three years to set up a pump after obtaining a license because of the time consumed in obtaining multiple regulatory clearances.