HYDERABAD: Supply restrictions imposed by oil companies in the state could cause their diesel stocks to run out in many fuel tanks over the next few days as a new working week begins on Monday, Rajiv Amaram , co-secretary of the consortium of Indian oil traders, warned on Saturday.

He said that, for example, 13 out of 40 berths who placed orders in Patancheru, Medak and Sangareddy districts received stock on Saturday but in limited quantities. A few were mixed up. Some pumps, which had ordered 4,000 liters of gasoline and 8,000 liters of diesel, had received 8,000 liters of gasoline and 4,000 liters of diesel.

“Oil company executives tell us they are given distribution quotas and once that is distributed there is nothing more they can do,” he said.

“If the state’s Civil Supplies Department doesn’t act quickly, about 70 percent of the state’s pumps could run out of their diesel supply,” he said, adding that the pumps were getting about half of their diesel order. The current situation at many pumps in the state is that they have more gasoline than they can sell on a daily basis, but the oil companies don’t want to send diesel only. Their explanation is that they suffer a loss of Rs 28 on every liter of diesel, Amaram explained.

In rural areas, where farmers have started to harvest paddy and transport it to markets or after purchase to rice mills, the situation is worsening. Pump owners in the districts are being told not to sell diesel to heavy vehicles, only automobiles and cars, as the focus is on the passenger sector. Oil companies are apparently not concerned about the diesel needs of tractors and trucks transporting paddy from place to place, Amaram said.

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