New Delhi: In a significant policy change, the government plans to reserve 27 per cent of new petrol pumps and LPG agencies for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Presently, 25 per cent of the sites for new petrol pumps are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) persons.
"We are in the process of formulating new guidelines for setting up of retail outlets and LPG distributorships. The new guidelines would provide reservation as has been provided in the Constitution," an Oil Ministry official said.
As per the guidelines under formulation, the quota for SCs/STs would be reduced to 22.5 per cent, while 27 per cent of new outlets and dealerships would be reserved for OBCs.
The remaining 50 per cent of the pumps and dealerships would be allotted to open or general category candidates, the official said, adding that 33 per cent of the locations in each category are reserved for women belonging to that category.
In addition, physically handicapped, paramilitary/police and defence personnel, freedom fighters and outstanding sports persons would also get reservation in each of the three categories - SC/ST, OBC and General.
Presently, physically handicapped persons are given 5 per cent reservation, while paramilitary/police/government personnel and defence personnel are each allotted 8 per cent of new petrol pumps. Another 2 per cent reservation is provided for freedom fighters and outstanding sports persons, taking the overall reservation to 50 per cent.
The official said petrol pumps would be allocated through a draw of lots to bring more transparency into the selection process.
Presently, applicants are ranked on the basis of their educational qualifications, financial background and other criteria and there have often been allegations of discrimination in the marking system.
Under the new system, all applicants meeting eligibility norms like owing a plot of land would have an equal chance of being selected in the draw of lots, which would happen in the presence of all the candidates.
The official said the new guidelines are likely to be announced after completion of Assembly elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
After identifying the location for setting up a retail outlet/LPG agency, state-owned Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum would release an advertisement in leading newspapers (one English and one Hindi/vernacular) inviting applications from candidates belonging to the category for which the location is reserved.
The eligibility criteria, terms and conditions and procedures would be described in the advertisement. After scrutiny, a draw of lots would be held for eligible candidates.