One of the perennial issues that keep a frowning expression on our face is the ever increasing fuel price in India. And from May 1, there is going to be trial run of a new rule in five cities- daily revision of fuel price. There are different schools of thoughts regarding the consumers getting benefit out of this scheme. However, the market experts think this is an existing practice in many developed countries and have a positive effect on the pocket of common man. Majority of petrol pumps are owned by state-owned fuel retailers like Indian Oil Corp, HPCL, BPCL etc and they have planned to execute a trial run of daily revision of fuel price, initially in five cities- Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. And gradually it will be extended to the entire country.
Presently, fuel prices are revised fortnightly which means 1st and 16th of every month. But with the new change, this revision will be done every day. Analysts think that this will bring more stability in the income. Also, the power of the oil companies will be enhanced as with the daily revision there will be little outer interventions in an effort to bring any gradual change in fuel price. Another positive aspect of this change will be visible in the inventory management. In many cases, in an anticipation of sharp rise or fall after revision of fuel price, dealers stock their inventory accordingly. This results in incurring loss due to the fluctuation in currency exchange in the global market. So, this everyday drill of petroleum prices will give a cushion to these OMCs. Experts are of opinion that this step is going to be beneficial for both the consumers and the dealers.
The analysts as well as the dealers agree that this is going to be a really tough call and before implementation it would have been better if some works were done in the infrastructure. For example, not even in the urban cities, all petrol pumps are automated which should be the first criteria to put this drill in practice. That is the reason that this new policy will be implemented in five cities in its first phase. Once the practical glitches and problems are mapped out, steps would be taken to straighten them out prior to implement it in rest of the country.
There is no second thought that this will be a beneficial step for the consumers but we would not see it coming right away. It will take time to kick in. Till then it will be subjected to introspection. Making common people understand that this revision of prices is completely different from the central government announced price hikes and inflation will be a Herculean task. It is to wait and watch that even with this practice, will government keep on incurring the state and central levies because this will be dampen all the efforts to make benefit out of softening of crude oil prices globally.
When Delhi government implemented odd-even policy to control pollution in the city for fifteen days, there was a lot of hue and cry and anticipations and apprehensions. But once in practice, even people facing problem could not deny the positive aspects. Traffic was suddenly smooth, honking and blaring horns were reduced almost magically and conveyance was suddenly comfortable. There were initial hiccups like confusion, crowded metros and other public transports etc, but pieces fell in place ultimately. Let us hope, the new fuel price revision policy too becomes a success and is implemented country-wide with applauds.