RIL moves CIC, says PSUs acting as cartel in ATF supply

Reliance Industries has moved the Competition Commission of India alleging that State-owned oil firms IOC, BPCL and HPCL have formed a cartel to supply aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to Air India.

According to official sources, RIL has filed a complaint stating that government-owned oil marketing companies worked as a cartel while bidding for ATF supply to flag carrier Air India.

It is learnt that RIL wants to enter the business of jet fuel supply, which is in the hands State-owned oil marketing companies.

“The complaint has been filed under sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, which pertains to anti-competitive agreement and abuse of dominant position, respectively. The commission will consider the complaint by RIL in a week,” a source said.

When contacted a RIL spokesperson said: “We do not wish to comment.”

National Aviation Company of India (NACIL), that runs Air India, regularly floats tenders for supply of ATF.

RIL’s move coincides with the widespread anticipation that the PSU oil firms will continue to act as a cartel while revising petrol prices every month in the free pricing regime, which looks set to kick in as early as this week.

Petrol prices were freed from government control last month, resulting in a Rs. 3.50 per litre rate hike in Delhi.

However, the modalities of subsequent retail price adjustments — in line with changes in crude — were left for the industry to decide.

Though diesel prices were raised by an ad-hoc Rs. 2 per litre, it continues to be under government control.

“It makes no sense for PSUs to compete among themselves if only petrol prices are being freed. Oil marketing companies (or State-run fuel retailers) will continue to coordinate on the pricing of petrol,” said a top oil PSU executive.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) are likely to revise petrol prices every month on the basis of monthly average of crude oil prices.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 1:13:11 PM |

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