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IOC to invest about Rs 1500 cr in 2003
May 01, 2003 16:17 IST
State-owned Indian Oil Corporation plans to invest close to Rs 1500 crore (Rs 15 billion) in 2003 to set up about 1000 petrol stations and improve its retail infrastructure before competition from private retailers like Reliance Industries and Royal/Dutch Shell sets in.
"We plan to add another 1000 petrol stations in a year's time, apart from revamping some of the existing ones," IOC director (marketing) P K Agarwal told PTI.
IOC currently has 7,961 outlets across the country.
The Rs 1,14,900-crore (Rs 1,149 billion) company plans to expand its presence along the national and state highways, a lucrative market segment being eyed the most by new entrants like Reliance.
"We plan to improve our network in cities where we do not have adequate presence. This includes some parts of Mumbai and the B-sites or smaller cities and important towns across the country," he said.
Though the oil companies are practically free to formulate their retail plans after deregulation, the government had put on hold plans of all state-owned oil retailers for setting up petrol stations in the aftermath of the petrol pump allotment scam last year.
Oil companies have since then formulated guidelines for allotment of petrol stations but they are yet to be approved by the petroleum ministry as state-owned firms are disinclined to continue with the policy of reserving petrol pumps and LPG selling agencies for weaker sections of the society.
IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation have spelt out that they would appoint LPG dealers and retail outlet operators with economic muscle to stave off the market competition that is likely to emerge in the future.