The All-Kerala Federation of Petroleum Traders has demanded that the Petroleum Ministry must introduce guidelines for sanctioning new fuel outlets.
Federation members said certain restrictions must be introduced against allotting new fuel outlets within the 5 km radius of the existing outlets.
“The location of new fuel outlets in the urban areas must be fixed after ensuring sale of 350 kl per month for nearby outlets. In the same way, 250 kl sale must be ensured in the rural areas. These guidelines should immediately be introduced by the ministry,” said S Muralidharan, president of the federation.
He also claimed that the oil companies have given sanction to as many as 1,500 new fuel outlets in the state without following any of these guidelines.
“The new move will adversely affect the business of the petroleum traders in the state. With this move, the oil companies disobeyed the order of the Supreme Court.
The apex court had earlier ordered them to prepare guidelines before giving sanction for the new outlets,” he added.
R Sabarinath, secretary of Kerala State Petroleum Traders’ Association, affiliated to the All-India Petroleum Traders, said they would also ask the Ministry to introduce guidelines.
“The Centre has already formed a parliamentary standing committee to take care of these issues. We will submit a memorandum to the committee to prepare the guidelines and speed up the procedures in this regard,” he said.
V Vetriselvakumar, chief corporate communications manager of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Southern region, told ‘Express’ that oil companies are giving sanction to new fuel outlets in the state after conducting detailed studies.
“Oil companies have statistics about the fuel outlets in the state. We had conducted proper studies on it before advertising the introduction of new fuel outlets.
“Based on the study, we followed certain norms to not cause any trouble to the business of existing traders in the state. By introducing additional fuel outlets in the state, the oil companies are investing a huge amount in the state.
“All fuel outlets, including the existing and new allotments, are our investments. We will never take any step to cause harm to our own investment,” he said.