The government has allowed Reliance Industries Ltd and Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd to sell kerosene outside the public distribution system, Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Thursday.
Reliance operates India's largest refinery of 33 million tonnes per annum capacity at Jamnagar in Gujarat. The 9.69 million tonnes per annum MRPL is a subsidiary of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. RIL and MRPL had been allowed to retail petrol and diesel but had hitherto not been allowed to market subsidised kerosene and domestic cooking gas.
"It has been decided to allow MRPL and RIL to market kerosene outside the PDS directly to genuine customers," Aiyar said at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.
RIL and MRPL have been allowed to sell kerosene to customers outside the PDS and will not be paid any subsidy. The companies have so far been selling most of their kerosene production to public sector marketing companies.
Aiyar also said his ministry has asked all state governments to identify and close all unauthorised utility pumps/barrel points in rural areas/highways.
"Utility pump locations having a potential of 20-25 kilolitre per month will be replaced by low cost retail outlets. For locations having potential of less than 20-25 kl per month, oil marketing companies shall develop a business model to meet the demand at such rural locations by establishing sub-outlets of the nearest retail outlet," he said.