Reliance Industries and Essar Oil are unwilling to drive on the retail sales of diesel as they fear that the political considerations in the run-up to the elections may derail reforms again.
Oil companies are reluctant for private sales as the government earlier had decontrolled diesel prices in the past but re-imposed controls, making private pumps unviable, said the media report.
"The average crude oil prices, which was about $99 per barrel in the last fortnight, has risen by about USD 2. Both global crude prices and Indian political scenario are unpredictable," an executive of private oil firm told media.
Public as well as private fuel retailers feels that the month of May could provide an unique opportunity to the government to deregulate the fuel as it is expected that slide in the international crude oil prices may reverse, added the media report.
Moreover, current diesel are about Rs 3.80 per litre more than the government-defined market price, which is Rs 1.70 more than the price at which Indian firms export diesel. Thus private firms feel that exporting diesel gives them a better margin.