Indian Oil Corp , Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum which control nearly 95% of the country’s fuel retail market, are considering ways to roll out the plan to review oil prices daily, top executives at state oil firms told Economic Times.
The automation at most filling stations, which allows companies to centrally change oil prices, as well as the availability of digital technologies and social networks have made it much easier for companies to convey price changes to their 53,000 filling station across the country.
Price transmission used to be a cumbersome exercise in the past with dealers waiting for phone calls and fax messages from companies for new oil prices and then rushing to lowering or raising their supply orders, causing inconvenience to suppliers.
Executives of state oil firms met Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the ministry officials on Wednesday to discuss the idea of daily fuel pricing.
“The idea of daily fuel pricing has been there for sometime. But now we have the technology to implement it. So we will do it,” a top executive said, without giving a timeline for the launch.
“Daily price revision is about introducing international standards in the Indian fuel retail market. It helps both customers as well as dealers in managing their purchase,” said the executive.
Daily changes mean prices wouldn’t rise or drop sharply, as they did last week. On March 31, state oil companies cut prices of petrol by Rs 3.77 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.91per litre.
Prices would change just by a few paise every day, bringing no shock to customers. This means companies can easily take price hikes without worrying about political backlash.
India lifted price control on diesel in 2014 and on petrol in 2010, which allowed state companies to charge market prices, and encouraged private companies to reenter the fuel retailing business.
At present, state companies review prices at the end of every fortnight and raise or reduce them depending on the prevailing international prices.