Public sector oil companies cut supply, engage in shadow war against centre's curb on price hike

KR Prahaladan

Representative Image | Photo:AFP

Kottayam: It seems that public sector oil companies are in a shadow war. The apparent move comes in the wake of restrictions placed by the union government over increasing the prices of diesel and petrol in tandem with the international price. It is observed that the union government has slapped the restriction without issuing an order.

According to the top officials in these oil companies, it is impractical to sell the auto-fuels at low rates as they have been brought to market at high rates. The restriction has severely affected the way diesel has been traded, said sources.If the restriction continues, then it may affect freight transportation in the country, said, representatives.

As of now, oil companies are of the stand that the loss can be reduced by limiting the supply to the pump operators. The companies are not delivering for the volume of the order placed by the pump operators.

HPCL was the first company to experiment with such a measure. Similarly, other oil companies also made their policies stringent to limit the supply. Even if the pump operators pay the money in advance, the companies are not promptly delivering the order.IOC has been maintaining comparably a better stand. They have directed their procurement centres to reduce diesel load.

Initially, private oil companies were abiding by the union government’s order. But later they rerouted. The players are Nayara, Reliance and Shell. They resorted to high-handed measures like reducing the operational time of pumps and urging the pump operators to be inoperative on Sundays. As fuel is a necessary commodity, many complaints were raised over the unannounced cut in supply. Following this, the government intervened and directed the pumps to operate properly. Later, the private oil companies increased the sales price of the fuels.

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