New Delhi - The government is considering enhancing the revenue base of state-owned oil companies' petrol pumps by allowing them to offer pharmaceuticals, groceries and other such products for sale.
According to Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, pharmacies and Information Technology (IT) service centres could be set up at petrol pumps in the future.
"Our three OMCs are expert in retail energy business... We are trying that pharmacy wing of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers and IT Ministry's common service centres should also be opened at our petrol pumps," Pradhan said.
"OMCs retail outlets should become convenience centres where daily essential products and services are made available to the public at large, so that non-fuel retail business could be grown."
The minister disclosed that around 55,000 retail energy outlets of the OMCs attract around 3.5 crore footfalls per day.
The minister was speaking at an MoU signing event held here between Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and the three state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) for distribution of "Ujala" energy efficient appliances through petrol pumps.
Currently, the fuel outlets offer a bouquet of allied services like ATMs, service stations, convenience stores and PUC facilities to enhance value and convenience to customers across the urban, highway and rural markets.
The three public sector oil marketing companies have a network of over 54,500 petroleum retail outlets in the country.
The MoU agreement envisages the three OMCs -- Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) -- to take up distribution of "LED Bulbs", "LED Tubelights" and energy efficient fans.
As per the roll-out plan, the distribution of energy efficient appliances will be conducted in a phased manner across select outlets.
In the first phase, distribution will commence from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
However, soon after the scheme is launched more outlets will commence the distribution of energy efficient appliances, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal said at the event.
"The marketing network of the three oil marketing companies is unparalleled and this tie-up will only accelerate and scale up the distribution of energy efficient appliances across the length and breadth of the country," Goyal said.
Till date, over 25.5 crore LED bulbs, over 30.6 lakh LED tubelights and around 11.5 lakh energy efficient fans have been distributed in the country under the "Ujala" scheme.
As per the estimates from Ministry of Power the scheme has lead to an annual energy savings of over 3,340 crore kWh and cumulative cost reduction to consumers of over Rs 13,346 crore annually.