The coronavirus pandemic has hit a number of industries in India, and one of the biggest blows has been taken by the petroleum industry. India's fuel consumption in March shrank by 18 per cent, the biggest decline in more than a decade, which was a result of the nationwide lockdown that has halted economic activity and travel. This has had an adverse impact on pump owners who are now seeking financial assistance from the government to help them survive the corona-wave. According to ET Auto pump dealers in Rajasthan alone claim that sales have plummeted to 10 per cent, and total business of ₹ 2,543 crore has been affected in the state till date.
Commenting on the situation, Sunit Bagai, president, Rajasthan Petrol Diesel Association (RPDA) said, "There are 465 pumps in Jaipur district and around 4,300 in the state. Annually, 80 million litres of petrol and 560 crore litres of diesel is sold in the state. In the last 23 days, transactions worth Rs 343 crore in petrol and Rs 2,200 crore in diesel have been affected."
Last week, it was reported that India's petroleum product consumption fell 17.79 per cent to 16.08 million tonnes in March as diesel, petrol and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) demand fell. Diesel demand decreased by 24.23 per cent to 5.65 million tonnes, while Petrol sales dropped 16.37 per cent to 2.15 million tonnes as the nationwide lockdown enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 took most cars and two-wheelers off the road. However, given the fact that people are staying indoors, sales of cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has gone up by 1.9 per cent to 2.31 million tonnes in March 2020.
Earlier today, India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressed the nation announcing that the lockdown will be expected by 3 more weeks, till May 3, 2020. This time around the restriction will be far more severe, at least until April 20.
Source: ET Auto