Petrol pumps in Mumbai and Pune will shut early. (PTI)

 As per their commitment to the nation, PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs – IndianOil, BPCL and HPCL) have fully transitioned to BS-VI compliant petrol and diesel across the country with effect from 1st April 2020 even in the face of the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bharat Stage Emission Standards are emission regulations implemented by the government to keep a check on emissions from motor vehicles. Introduced first in 2000, the current BS-IV norms were enforced in 2017, after BS-II and BS-III norms, which were enforced in 2005 and 2010 respectively. BS-V has been skipped to have a more stringent standard to curb pollution levels, apart from the gap between the enforcement of different emission standards also dwindling. The PSU OMCs have incurred capital expenditure to the tune of about Rs. 35,000 crore in upgrading their countrywide refineries, pipelines &marketing distribution network to be able to usher in BS-VI fuels, directly leapfrogging from BS-IV fuels. Further, the refineries shall incur incremental operating costs on a sustained basis to manufacture BS-VI petrol and diesel with 10 parts per million (ppm) of Sulphur as against 50 ppm in BS-IV fuels earlier. Taking into consideration the CAPEX costs and the likely incremental OPEX costs, there would be some impact on the retail selling price of petrol and diesel. Considering the current crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the OMCs have kept the prices of petrol and diesel unchanged with effect from 1st April 2020, which were otherwise also being maintained steady. However, the increase in the RSPs of petrol and diesel in some states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, etc., with effect from 1st April, 2020 is purely on account of the increase in VAT rates by the respective State Governments on both the products from that date. The OMCs have made no change in the basic selling price and have maintained it at the same level. (photo courtesy: pti)

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