Gov does a U turn on shutting petrol pumps at night after backlash

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has denied media reports that the government may force petrol pumps to remain shut in the night to save oil.

“There is no proposal under consideration of the Government to allow sale of petroleum products from the retail outlets only during certain hours,” a statement from the ministry said.

Oil minister Veerappa Moily was reported to have said that such a proposal is under consideration, according to reports in various media, including the Press Trust of India, the biggest news agency in India.

“The Ministry has denied the media reports in this regard which had stated that Petrol Pumps may be ordered to shut operations between 8.00pm and 8.00am,” the government statement said.

The media reports had drawn sharp reactions from citizens, who mocked the idea.

The value of the rupee has fallen from around Rs 45 to the dollar two years ago to Rs 66 to the dollar at present, creating stress for petroleum companies who buy their raw crude in dollars.

For the year 2013-14, the Indian Oil Corporation alone is expected to incur under-recovery of Rs 76,000 crore on sale of three sensitive products, while the industry is expected to lose Rs 1,44,000 crore.