CNG outlets and EV charging stations to get preference over petrol and diesel sale in the new licensing norm

India’s new liberalised petrol pump licensing norms allow setting up of EV charging stations and CNG outlets even before the start of petrol and diesel sales, the government has stated.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in a clarification to its November 8, 2019 order that eased norms for setting up of petrol pumps by new entities, said the order provides for petrol pumps selling one new generation alternate fuels like CNG, LNG or electric vehicle charging points alongside retailing petrol and diesel, but does not prescribe an order of them being set up.

“While an authorised entity is required to set up its retail outlets for petrol and diesel… the said entity is required to install facilities for at least one new generation alternate fuels like CNG, biofuels, LNG, electric vehicle charging points etc at the proposed retail outlets,” the ministry said in an October 5 notice.

The 2019 order however “does not prescribe the order in which the dispensation of conventional fuels (petrol and diesel) and the new generation alternate fuels would be started, i.e. dispensation of bio fuels and CNG, EV charging can be started before dispensing of petrol and diesel,” it said.

The new liberalised rule allows any entity with a minimum net worth of Rs 250 crore to apply for authorisation to retail petrol and diesel.

Under the November 2019 policy, petrol pump licence has so far been granted to Reliance Industries Ltd, IMC Ltd, Onsite Energy Pvt Ltd, Assam Gas Company, M K Agrotech, RBML Solutions India Ltd and Manas Agro Industries and Infrastructure.

Besides doing away with the earlier requirement of investing Rs 2,000 crore in oil and gas sector to be eligible for a fuel retailing licence, the new liberalised petrol pump norms require licensees to set up a minimum of 100 outlets with at least 5 per cent of them in remote areas. The licensee is required to “install facilities for marketing at least one new generation alternate fuels like compressed natural gas (CNG), biofuels, liquefied natural gas, electric vehicle charging points etc at their proposed retail outlets within three years of operationalisation of the said outlet.”

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