Fuel outlets across Telangana continue to witness a shortage of petrol and diesel due to the short supply of fuel from depots of oil marketing companies. On Monday more than 40% of fuel outlets in the State capital ran out of supply and displayed ‘No Stock’ or ‘Out of Stock’ boards turning away the motorists.
“This is the fourth petrol pump in a row which has been barricaded and displayed Out of Stock board. I don’t know what’s happening. These pumps are operating on and off for the past few days,” said Saidulu, a motorist from Malakpet standing outside a petrol pump in Secunderabad.
While oil companies are stating that they are getting less supply against the demands, dealers maintain that the former are creating ‘artificial scarcity for reasons better known to them.
Expressing concern over ongoing fuel shortage, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar told The Hindu that Union Government has increased the prices on bulk supplies, as a result even large institutions like TSRTC, are depending on retail outlets which had resulted in the shortage of fuel across the State. “The oil companies have increased the bulk supply rate diesel by ₹ 28 per litre, as a result, big players in the transport business, who have their own pumps have stopped sourcing the fuel from the companies directly, and shifted to retail outlets because the fuel is cheaper by ₹ 30 per litre when compared to bulk,” he said.
Mr. Kamalakar said that in the past few days he had held three meetings with the representatives of oil companies and dealers, and wrote to the Centre about the burning issue. “I have strictly warned the companies not to create artificial scarcity and there shouldn’t be any hiccups in supply, which might trigger unnecessary panic among general public,” he said.
The Minister had once again called for an emergency meeting with the representatives of oil companies and dealers on Tuesday to discuss the same. “There are issues over subsidy on bulk supplies too. The Union Governmet must clear this issue as well,” he said.
Meanwhile, All India Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers joint secretary Rajiv Amaram said that there is no fundamental shortage of fuel but the oil companies have created one to get more profits and reduce losses.
“While pumps operated by BPCL, HPCL and IOC, have a shortage of supply, private operators such as Essar Group and Nayara, went completely dry,” he said. Mr. Amaram believes that government is putting pressure on the oil companies to increase the prices to cut short the losses. There are more than 2,400 petrol bunks in Telangana, including over 1,300 in the Greater Hyderabad limits.