Reliance Industries has reopened fuel stations in India as the government has decontrolled diesel fuel prices in the country.
Reliance industries reopened almost one-fifth of its petrol pumps in India which were shut down due to heavy losses. Reliance Industries already has non-working pumps across India, these pumps had been shut down in 2008 because the state owned firms were selling fuel at a subsidised rate than private firms. Not getting fuel at subsidised rate as the state firms did, was a huge setback for Reliance Industries and Essar Oil. The companies eventually went into losses and had to shut down fuel sales in India. Both companies once captured about 17 percent of the domestic diesel market and 10 percent of the petrol market in India.
Reliance has now re-entered the fuel industry with great energy and plans to come on top like it did in 2006. The company owned market share of 14.3 percent in diesel and 7.2 percent in petrol in 2006. Reliance has over 1400 non-functional petrol pumps in the country, out of which 230 have already been commissioned. The firm plans to commission all of its fuel pumps in a year. Reliance aims to come with fresh policies in which large fleet operators like truckers will be able to buy fuel with smartcards. This will allow cashless transactions and all the information will be monitored online providing safer means of transactions.
Despite all the autonomy in the public sector, the government controlled the fuel department on-and-off. Until 2010, when the government finally deregulated petrol fuel pricing and this provided a gateway for Essar to start selling petrol from its outlets. Essar started diesel sales from its outlets last year, expanding its network to 1600 pumps in the nation. While diesel was deregulated by the government last year and many private retailers have come in the competition. This considerable move by Reliance is good for the customers as more competition will lead to better quality fuel.