Scores of motorists, who bought petrol from HPCL and BPCL outlets in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts on Tuesday, continued to pay the old rate of Rs.75.43 and Rs.75.40 per litre respectively, despite the Centre slashing the price by 56 paise from Monday midnight.
Considering also the reduction in the tax component, the cut in price should have been about 74 paise per litre in Hyderabad. Only the Indian Oil Corporation outlets began selling petrol at the slashed rate of Rs.74.68 per litre from Monday midnight.
Claiming that the HPCL and BPCL had not communicated the slashed price to outlets, dealers continued to charge the old rates till late on Tuesday night. Puzzled motorists had no other go but pay the old rates, albeit grudgingly.
There are nearly 350 fuel outlets run by BPCL and HPCL, while Indian Oil operates about 200 in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts.
Generally, the enhancement or reduction in prices would come into effect from midnight of the day of announcement. The oil companies would work out the tax component to be added or reduced and communicate it to retail outlets and also to the State-level oil coordinator, who happens to be from one of the three oil companies.
Oil Coordinator S. Hariprasad could not get information on the revised prices till Monday midnight.
The oil companies issue a ‘standby’ message to the coordinator two or three hours after the government announces the change in price. The ‘standby’ message is to be followed by another communication announcing the revised price.
However, on Monday night, the BPCL and HPCL did not communicate the reduced price to him and also to their outlets.
Strangely, only in Hyderabad the revised prices are announced around midnight. “We have to wait till midnight for some strange reason,” said an outlet owner.
However, late in the night, BPCL and HPCL had announced reduction of price by 75 paise per litre from Tuesday midnight.