Mumbai, April 18:
Reliance Industries, the $66-billion oil refining to retail trade giant, hopes to re-start by the end of this financial year all its 1,400 retail outlets to sell petroleum fuels.
In a presentation on the company’s corporate results for the financial year ended March 31, 2015, Reliance Industries said it has already re-started 320 ot its petrol-diesel pumps, following the complete de-regulation of transport fuels.
The company also said it has founded consistent customer experience across all the touch points, and added the next step will be to: “Fleet management program, providing better fleet control, cash flow management and cashless transactions.”
This is to help bulk customers. Another facet will be: “Target aggressive volumes in the bulk HSD (high-speed diesel) market, post de-regulation.”
Under the previous fleet management scheme, bulk operators like truckers were provided smartcards which their drivers could use to buy fuel at Reliance stations. This scheme helped the owners as it not only checked pilferage but also allowed online verification of supplies.
Reliance Industries closed all its 1,400 retail pumps by March 2008 after the government’s decision to regulate retail prices of petroleum fuels which left oil marketing companies (OMCs) to bear some amount of fuel subsidy from their own account.
Reliance Industries and the Essar Oil, which also was operating such vends, suffered substantial losses and closed shop. Before that, these two companies had captured a 15-17 percent market share even though this was the turf of state-run companies.
The international ratings agency Fitch had said following the de-regulation in diesel prices that the private firms such as Reliance Industries and Essar Oil are likely to restart idled diesel retail operations, and should ultimately become more significant players.
“By allowing diesel to be marketed profitably, the sector will once again be attractive for private companies that had left when price restrictions were put in place,” the ratings agency had said.
Diesel prices were de-regulated in October 2014, by linking the fuel cost to market-based pricing. This followed the June 2010 petrol prices deregulation.
Since the fall in crude oil prices from mid-2014, the three-state owned petroleum products retailers to pass on the benefit of cheaper prices to consumers.
The retailers have been allowed by the government to fix the prices of petrol and diesel prices as per international prices.
The three OMCs have been revising rates on the 1st and 16th of every month based on the fortnightly average of international oil prices and the rupee-dollar exchange rate. (IANS)