• You are a matriculate, aged between 21-60 years, and own a chunk of land which in the eyes of the public sector oil marketing companies is in a viable area not covered by their existing vast network of retail outlets, then here’s a golden chance to own a petrol pump of your own. Under a nationwide rollout, except in the five poll-bound states, where the code of conduct is in force, the three state owned oil marketing companies – BPCL, HPCL and IOCL - on Sunday announced offers to Indian citizens to open up thousands of new retail outlets as part of a massive expansion drive.

In Chandigarh, IOCL Chief General Manager Sandeep Jain, who is also state level coordinator for the oil industry in Punjab, accompanied by senior officials from the other two companies, told media persons that 2740 new outlets from all the three state owned oil marketing companies together were up for grabs in the state - 1584 regular outlets and 1156 rural outlets – to add to a network of 3200 existing outlets.

Photo By : Life In Chandigarh

For ease of doing business and for greater transparency in allotment, all the earlier cumbersome processes have been done away with. Now any person desirous of running a retail outlet just needs to visit the web site www.petrolpumpdealerchayan.in, go through the brochure and advertisement and register online for any of the listed sites of any of the three oil marketing companies.

Persons already owning land and those who are in possession of a letter of purchase of land will be given first and second preference respectively, though a third category of people, who do not have any committed land with them will also be considered in case there are no takers from the first two categories of applicants. A computerised draw of lots will be held wherever there are more than one applicant for a particular site.

For the first time no documentation will be asked for upfront and the process of furnishing and verification of documents will be initiated only after a person is selected and granted a letter of intent (LOI) from the respective oil marketing company. This time the norm of multiple dealerships not being allowed in a single name has also been relaxed, allowing existing petrol pump owners to apply for more outlets.

Reservations have been made for various categories of applicants.

The registration process began on Sunday itself and online applications will be entertained till December 24. An applicant can expect to complete the online registration in just 5-10 minutes, assured the officials, who also claimed that with the recent “handsome” revision of commissions and incentives offered by the oil marketing companies, owning a petrol pump  had become more lucrative. The companies will themselves undertake laying of the entire basic infrastructure using the latest automation technology, leaving little for the successful applicant to spend from his own pocket.

However, going by the experience in the past, when not more than 15-17 percent of the advertised outlets were taken up, the oil marketing companies are not expecting all sites on offer to be allotted. The last round of allotments had taken place in 2014.

The officials informed that the retail sales of petrol and diesel are increasing nationwide at an average rate of approximately 8% and 4% respectively, though these figures differ slightly from state to state.

The expansion of retail outlet (petrol pump) network is being undertaken by the oil marketing companies primarily to meet the growing fuel needs and convenience of customers in emerging markets like upcoming highways, agricultural pockets and industrial hubs. The retail outlet network in rural, remote and far-flung areas is also being expanded with an aim of primarily making available quality and fair-priced high speed diesel (HSD) to agricultural communities and people living in remote areas, they added.

LifeInChandigarh.com Comment

The timing of the expansion is significant, coming as it is towards the fag end of the tenure of the BJP-led NDA government. Each petrol pump employs a significant number of workers, leading to generation of employment opportunities for people living in the adjoining areas.