The companies have a laid down procedure for selecting dealers. Provision for proportionate representation to candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe is also provided for. This is part of the affirmative action envisaged by the companies for the benefit of candidates belonging to SC/ST communities.
A review of the performance of the Oil Marketing Companies on this account was undertaken by Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. It was noticed that for locations earmarked for SC/ST candidates, the response was not satisfactory, essentially on account of non-availability of land.
This was attributable to the traditional exclusion of such communities from land ownership. It was observed that during financia year 2014-15, as many as 5,994 locations were advertised specifically for the benefit of such candidates.
Against the said advertisement, response was received with respect to only 2,906 locations, accounting for 48.5 per cent of the locations. For 3,088 locations, there was no response.
There are also another 658 pending cases where Letters of Intent were issued. But, on account of non-availability of land, the said outlets could not be commissioned.
Therefore, with a view to ensuring that the individuals belonging to such communities do not suffer on account of lack of access to land, the Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister has written to all Chief Ministers of states to earmark suitable land for the purpose.
He has also requested that for the purpose, land may be provided by the respect State Governments at concessional rates. The Oil Marketing Companies will take such land on lease from the Government, will undertake necessary construction on the said land and will also be providing working capital loan for starting commercial operations.
In all 3,745 individuals belonging to SC/ST communities will be provided with avenues of employment and economic empowerment.