State oil cos offering cashback, discounts at petrol pumps to fight competition

Public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) such as Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation are offering discounts on digital transactions at petrol pumps, the Business Standard reported.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

IOC, since December 1, 2019, is giving 10 percent cashback or up to Rs 50 per transaction for payments done by debit card or credit card. The offer will end on January 31, 2020, the company told the paper.

HPCL’s website states a 0.75 percent discount directly on the bill for payments done via digital means, except credit cards. The company did not respond to BS’ queries, but a source said the scheme was started post-demonetisation in 2017 and discontinued for credit cards in October.

Ajay Bansal, president of the All India Petrol Dealers Association (AIPDA) told the paper that the schemes were designed to ensure market share in a tough, competitive market. An executive of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) however said “there is no way” the PSU can offer 10 percent discount.

Ravi Shinde, former president of the Mumbai Petrol Dealers’ Association clarified that the discounts were from the company and not the dealers, who agree that discounts would be “difficult to provide in the current market”.

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