The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has requested the Finance Ministry to review the duties levied on branded auto fuels (petrol/diesel) to bring down the price differential with non-branded or regular fuels.
This, it believes, will attract consumers to opt for branded fuels, which will help improve the fuel efficiency (by about 2 per cent) resulting in reduction in overall demand for petroleum products.
The branded petrol from Indian Oil Corporation stable called XtraPremium is sold at Rs 79.89 a litre in Delhi. The non-branded fuel in Delhi is sold at Rs 71.02 a litre.
Indian Oil's branded diesel called XtraMile is sold at Rs 67.41 a litre in Delhi, while the non-branded diesel is available at Rs 53.10 a litre.
To enhance the fuel efficiency of new generation vehicles, specialised products (branded petrol and diesel) were launched by oil marketing companies in line with global trends and in keeping with the technological advancement in the automobile industry.
In 2009 Union Budget, new duties were introduced on branded fuels which raised the differential between unbranded and branded fuel. Due to this, sales of branded fuels have started sliding. In September 2012, Government withdrew the subsidy support for branded fuels resulting in further downward slide.
The Ministry has launched a “Nationwide Mega Campaign” to conserve Petroleum Products with effect from October 1 with an overall purpose of the conservation campaign is to reduce consumption of key petroleum products by minimising wastage through simple fuel saving measures.
“This initiative is a vital step towards demand side management with an ambitious plan of up to 3 per cent saving potential, equivalent to approximately Rs16,000 crore in one year.
The Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry has also urged the Ministry of Power to notify ‘Fuel Economy norms’ for passenger cars within this year.
For this Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, M. Veerappa Moily, will shortly convene a meeting of all stakeholders to discuss the modalities of developing and bringing these norms into effect given the fact that countries such as the US and China have already announced ambitious targets in this regard, the statement said.
“India should not get left behind in this race to achieve higher fuel efficiency for our vehicle fleets,” Moily said.
Conserving Petroleum products
The Ministry has also taken some other initiatives. The Petroleum Conservation Research Association and BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) have jointly formulated an ambitious benchmarking programme on fuel efficiency covering domestic LPG stoves and Agriculture Diesel pump sets.
Eco-driving has also been launched during this Mega Campaign under the joint co-operation of PCRA and ECCJ (Energy Conservation Centre of Japan).
The Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry has approached the Ministry of Urban Development with the offer of funding “free cycles scheme” in select cities through the Oil Companies in order to cut down on fuel consumption.