The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pump licence freeze & income bar off

New Delhi, Aug. 13: The ministry of petroleum and natural gas has done away with the income criterion for determining who should get licences for petrol pumps.

Under the old rules, persons with an income of more than Rs 2 lakh a year could not apply for a dealership. This criterion is being dropped under the new guidelines that will come into force from the middle of next month.

Sources said the ministry — which will shortly lift a year-long freeze on petrol and LPG dealerships after a pumpgate scam uncovered in July last year revealed that relatives of legislators of the ruling party were cornering the licences — also intends to relax the “one pump per family” criterion.

This restriction will now be confined only to nuclear families comprising husband, wife and unmarried kids. Joint families will be free to apply for dealerships.

The 30 per cent across-the-board reservation for women in both the open category and the 50 per cent reserved category is being retained.

The 50 per cent reserved category will stay and cover outstanding sportsmen, military and paramilitary forces personnel and freedom fighters to reward them for outstanding contribution to national life and acts of exceptional valour in the defence of the nation.

Reservations for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes will be placed at 25 per cent and other backward classes at 10 per cent. Two per cent of the licences will be reserved for the physically handicapped.

Petroleum minister Ram Naik today met the chairmen and managing directors of the downstream oil companies — Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation — and asked them to draw up uniform criteria for all public sector companies for selecting dealers. Sources said the highest weightage would be given to the site the prospective dealers would be willing to offer for setting up a filling station or LPG distributorship.

The financial soundness of the candidate will come next followed by educational and professional qualifications. The educational qualification of candidates will be listed in detail according to marks attained and degrees acquired.

Naik has asked the oil companies to place the new selection criteria before their respective boards of directors for approval by the end of this month so that the new guidelines come into force by next month and the allotment of dealerships can resume.

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