Mumbai: The automotive industry along with its representing body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), has requested the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs)-- Indian Oil Corp Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd---to provide BSVI grade fuel (petrol and diesel) at least 30-45 days ahead of the scheduled deadline – 1 April 2020.
While the request from the auto industry to the OMCs is made to ensure a smooth transition to the stringent emission norms, the latter remains committed to the supply of BSVI grade fuel only from 1 April next year, three people aware of the development told Mint.
"Auto companies have asked us for BS VI fuel 30-45 days in advance and we have agreed to give it to them," said an official from an oil marketing company.
According to two of the three sources, who did not wish to be named, an inter-ministerial group (IMG) was formed under the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises in the recent past to coordinate the developments between the two industries while closely monitoring the rollout of the BSVI grade petrol and diesel across the country.
“The objective of forming the IMG is to oversee that the oil and auto industries come together and work in tandem to ensure a smooth transition to the BSVI norms, which will involve parallel roll out of the superior grade fuel region-by-region along with the BSVI compliant vehicles across India," said one of the three sources mentioned.
In an emailed reply IOCL said that OMCs are fully prepared to supply BS-VI fuels. "There is no let-up," said IOCL.
BS VI the sixth mandate for vehicular emissions, is a move to controlling air pollution in the country. Currently, BS VI grade petrol and diesel is supplied in Delhi and adjoining the national capital region.
People aware of the matter said the auto industry is looking to closely follow the availability of BSVI fuel by planning the supply of BSVI compliant vehicles accordingly across dealerships pan India.
“This exercise of ensuring BSVI grade fuel prior to the availability of the BSVI vehicles will consume time before dealerships across the country are adequately stocked with the new vehicles. This is why the automotive industry has asked the OMCs to start supplying BSVI fuel at least 45 days before the deadline of 1 April 2020," said the second of the three people cited above.
BS-VI emission is said to contain five times fewer sulphur traces, while the nitrogen oxide level in the upcoming norm will be brought down by 70% for diesel engine and 25% in case of petrol engines.
Notably, the upcoming emission norms mandate sales and registration of only BSVI compliant vehicles from the beginning for the next financial year.
Meanwhile, Vishnu Mathur, director general, Siam, who declined to elaborate on the matter, said, “The auto industry is looking forward to working closely with the oil industry to synchronize the launch of BSVI vehicles with the availability of the BSVI fuel pan India." He, however, said that the leftover BSIV stock as on 31 March 2020 is a bigger worry for the automakers at the moment.