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India's downstream major, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) yesterday informed about commissioning its first petrol pump in Bhutan in its bid to foray into the Himalayan Kingdom. The petrol pump is the first in line of the planned 22 outlets according to the MoU signed with Bhutanese state-run STBCL at select high-potential sites in the country. The ONGC-subsidiary had earlier commissioned its first retail outlet in Bhutan on March 11.
The Government of India is looking to relax the norms concerning setting up of petrol pumps to attract more private players into fuel retailing in order to increase competition. An expert committee will report to the Oil Ministry in 60 days on the matter. The current norms to obtain a fuel retailing licence in India require an investment of ₹2,000 crore in either hydrocarbon E&P, refining, pipelines or LNG terminals.
If sources were to be believed, Indian oil PSUs are planning on installing some 25,000 new petrol pumps across the nation, following a directive from the Government. This will outlay an investment of thousands of crores in the fuel retailing business, employment for tens of thousands of people, and an increased dominance of state firms. New petrol pumps will bring more business for equipment suppliers, transporters, and tanker manufacturers.