Indian Oil, HPCL, BPCL stop production of premium petrol and diesel

Huge rate differentials between branded petrol and diesel and non-branded or ordinary fuel have led to production stoppage of the premium fuels by refineries amid plunging sales after the government cut excise duty on non-branded petrol by Rs5.50 to Rs9.28 per litre last month.

The government, though retained the excise duty on branded petrol worth Rs15.96 a litre, and also ordered that premium petrol and diesel be sold at cost price, which led to a steep increase in the price of branded petrol and diesel.

Branded diesel price vaulted 43 per cent to Rs65.81 while the prices of premium petrol rose by 9 per cent to an average of Rs77.58 a litre in Delhi, the report said and added regular unbranded petrol and diesel, heavily subsidised by the government, sell at Rs 67.90 and Rs46.95 a litre respectively in New Delhi.

"Sales are almost nil zero," Indian Oil Corp's (IOC) director marketing Makrand Nene said at the Petrotech 2012 Conference in New Dehi. "There are no buyers (of premium diesel or petrol) at these prices."

PTI quoted an executive of Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) as saying that stocks that were lying before the 15 September price hike had not been exhausted yet and oil companies would supply branded fuel to petrol pumps only if there was a demand.

"We are rationalising the infrastructure," Nene said. "We will produce branded fuels only if there is demand from dealers."