New Delhi: Buoyed by diesel price decontrol, Reliance Industries has reopened about one-fifth of its 1,400 fuel stations, which were shut down when state firms were selling heavily subsidised fuel.
RIL and Essar Oil Ltd, the only other private refiner in India, had together captured about 17 per cent of domestic retail market for diesel and 10 per cent of petrol by 2006 before heavily subsidised sales by state-run firms took a heavy toll on private firms’ fuel sales.
“230 outlets (petrol pumps) already commissioned. Plan to commission entire network within a year,” RIL said in an investor presentation post announcing third quarter earnings.
RIL had shut down all of its 1,432 petrol pumps around March 2008 because of huge losses in incurred in trying to match its public sector firms, who sold fuel at rates much lower than their cost as they got government subsidies.
The government in June 2010 deregulated or freed petrol pricing by not providing any more subsidies. This allowed Essar to re-enter the retailing arena, selling only petrol from most of its 1,400 outlets.