As Indians are still getting used to the idea of shopping from e-commerce platforms, the government is set to add petrol and diesel to the list of commodities for online purchase. The Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan proposed the idea at a meeting of the consultative committee of members of Parliament in Srinagar on Friday. While the home delivery for petrol and diesel is yet to materialize here is an account of the motive, benefits and implications. Read More – Petrol, Diesel Prices Set to Change Daily From May 1
Motive behind selling fuel through e-commerce platform
The primary motive behind selling petrol & diesel online is to encourage customers for digital transactions. Additionally, customers can order fuel from the convenience of home without the need of standing in long queues at the petrol pumps.
How this will work-
While the government is still chalking out a plan before the roll out, the idea is to encourage customers to book fuel online. This would indeed require oil companies like Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Indian Oil Corporation to take up the e-commerce way. Once the customers place an order, the fuel will be delivered to their doorstep. Read More – Fuel Pumps to Remain Closed on Sundays in 8 States From May 14
What has changed post Demonetisation-
To encourage digital transactions, a strategy is already in place with the focus on expanding digital infrastructure at fuel stations followed by awareness campaigns and rewarding customers through providing incentives. At this point in time around 38,128 fuel bunks across the country have point-of-sale machines and about 86% offer digitized mode of payment. As a step ahead in this direction, oil marketing companies are offering 0.75% discount to customers on digital payments. In a bid to promote online transactions, oil companies have conducted 35,000 consumer awareness campaigns. As a result, around 72,000 e-wallets have been activated post demonetization. Industry insiders communicated that cashless transactions have spiked to Rs 400 crore daily from the previous Rs 150 crore in November.
What other steps have been taken by the Government-
The ministry has also introduced a social media platform dubbed MoPNG e-Seva that is devoted to resolve oil and gas related complaints. In addition, there is a Swachh Petrol Pump app that allows people to provide feedback regarding the cleanliness of toilets at the fuel pumps.
Petroleum Minitry’s take on shutting fuel pumps on Sundays-
While a section of the petrol pump owners is prepping to shut fuel bunks on Sundays in eight states starting May 14, the ministry on the contrary does not approve of the move. The idea behind keeping the fuel stations closed on Sundays is in line with conserving and preserving fuel. However, Petrol Conservation Research Association and oil marketing companies are already carrying out a campaign with guidance from the ministry in this direction.
The consultative committee of which Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is a part of also includes following members- Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Chandrakant Bhaurao Khaire, Harinder Singh Khalsa, Janak Ram, Murali Mohan Maganti, Narasimham Thota, Ninong Ering, Satya Pal Singh, Ramdas Chandrabhanji Tadas, Ravindra Babu Pandula, Sona Ram Choudhary, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Tariq Anwar, Vikaram Usendi, Ranjib Biswal and Ravi Prakash Verma.