Oil retailers oppose Kingfisher bid to import jet fuel

India's three fuel retailers – Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd – have come out strongly against Kingfisher Airlines' proposal to directly import air turbine fuel (ATF).

The state-owned companies say the move would put ''public funds at loss'' besides being ''bad economics'' for the cash-strapped airline due to high taxes and handling costs for direct jet fuel imports.

Indian Oil, the country's largest oil marketing and refining firm, has reportedly told the petroleum ministry that given the surplus of jet fuel in the country, allowing direct import by Kingfisher was not advisable.

In the first nine months of the current fiscal, ATF production was 5,997 trillion metric tonnes while the consumption was only 3,160 tmt, and oil companies had to export ATF to offload the excess production.

''The concern is that the country today is surplus in ATF - and would continue to be so in short, medium and long-term basis - so any relaxation in the policy would be detrimental to the interest of PSU oil companies,'' IOC told the ministry.