Sale of premium petrol and diesel may soon be discontinued following a sharp fall in demand. State-owned oil companies said they have virtually stopped producing premium or branded petrol and diesel, which cost more than non-branded fuels.
“Sales are almost zero,” Indian Oil Corp’s director marketing Makrand Nene said at the Petrotech 2012 conference on Monday. “There are no buyers at these prices.”
Premium fuels, introduced in 2002, contain additives aimed at improving engine performance and reducing emissions.
Last month, the government cut excise duty on non-branded petrol by Rs 5.50 to Rs 9.28 per litre. However, it did not cut the Rs 15.96 a litre excise duty on branded petrol, and ordered that premium fuels be priced at cost. Because of this, price of premium diesel jumped by 43% to Rs 65.81 while that of premium petrol went up by 9 % to an average of Rs 77.58 a litre in Delhi.
Regular unbranded petrol and diesel, both heavily subsidised by the government, sell at Rs 67.90 and Rs 46.95 a litre, respectively, in the Capital.
While Indian Oil Corp petrol pumps sell premium fuels under the XtraMile brand, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp sell the Speed and Power brands, respectively.