And make sure you donآ’t sell adulterated fuel

Vol 5, PW 5 (25 Apr 01) Midstream & Downstream

Foreign companies that operate petrol pumps when the oil sector is de-regulated will have to take extra precaution that they do not sell adulterated or mixed fuel.

In discussions with a correspondent for this report, oil minister Ram Naik stresses that the oil ministry will issue separate guidelines to regulate the sale of petrol products "through retail outlets operated and managed by multinationals". Naik hinted that Indian authorities would come down harder on a foreign multinational selling adulterated fuel than on Indian companies.

In India, it is common practice to adulterate (mix) petrol with cheaper naphtha, and diesel with subsidised kerosene. This is then sold to an unsuspecting public as 100% petrol or diesel.

Thepractice is non-existent in the West but here it is rampant. Naik is a vocal campaigner against the adulteration of fuel and on 17th April announced a series of strict 'Marketing Discipline Guidelines' against existing owners of retail outlets selling adulterated petrol and diesel.

These include an immediate fine of Rs20,000 ($425) and a 30-day disqualification of its operation licence. Naik said the oil ministry is considering the creation of a regulatory body to "keep a strict" vigil on all retail outlets for petrol and diesel.