The Narendra Modi government plans to sell pharmaceuticals, LED bulbs and other products at state-owned petrol pumps, IANS reported on Thursday. Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at an event in New Delhi that petrol pumps may soon be allowed to run pharmacies and IT service centres.

“We [the government] are trying that the pharmacy wing of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, and the IT Ministry’s common service centres be opened at state-owned petrol pumps,” Pradhan said.

“The retail outlets of [state-owned] Oil Marketing Companies should become convenience centres where daily products and services are made available to the public,” Pradhan said. He added that this would enable the growth of non-fuel retail businesses. The minister said that that around 55,000 retail energy outlets run by the OMCs attract around 3.5 crore customers every day at present.

Pradhan was speaking at an event to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between Energy Efficiency Services Limited and the three state-owned OMCs - Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited. The MoU envisages that petrol pumps run by these three OMCs will distribute LED bulbs, LED tubelights and energy-efficient fans. The energy-efficient appliances will be rolled out at select outlets in the country, beginning with the states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh in the first phase.