New Delhi: The government has granted a fuel retailing license to Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd, a joint venture of the Gujarat government, Indian Oil Corp., the Tata group and The Chatterjee Group, in a bid to boost competition in the fuel retail market.
Haldia Petrochemicals is expected to set up 100 retail outlets in various districts in West Bengal including in Purbi Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, Bankuara and Purulia, Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia and Burdwan, said a person briefed about the development, who asked not to be named.
The person added that private competition in the retail business will give consumers better choices and services.
An email sent to the company about its proposed investments remained unanswered at press time.
Private retailers such as Reliance Industries Ltd and Essar Oil Ltd are already seeking to expand their fuel retailing business to capture the market currently dominated by state-owned companies.
State-run fuel retailers have until recently kept private players out of the market by selling fuel at state-set prices with the aid of a subsidy from the government and discounts from state-owned crude oil producers.
With diesel price being deregulated from October 2014, private entities have revived their retailing plans.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. currently account for the lion’s share of the 6.4 million tonnes of diesel, two million tonnes of petrol and half a million tonnes of jet fuel sold in the country every month.
Petrol consumption has been growing at 14.5% a year, diesel at 7.5% and jet fuel at 8.7%, according to Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, an arm of the oil ministry.