Fuel retailers in 22 states will not purchase petrol and diesel from oil marketing companies on Tuesday to protest the losses caused by cuts in excise duties announced by the Centre earlier this month, The Hindu reported.
However, the protest is unlikely to disrupt supplies as fuel pumps have enough stocks to last a couple of days, according to PTI.
Petrol prices got reduced by Rs 9.5 per litre and diesel by Rs 7 a litre after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the excise duty cut on May 21.
The fuel pump dealers are demanding an increase in their commission for sale of petrol and diesel, claiming that are having to face losses due to the Centre’s decision.
“The central government in the past six months has announced two major cuts in excise duty [on November 4 and on May 21] and the entire burden of Rs 13 per litre on petrol and Rs 16 per litre on diesel was passed on to the petrol pump dealers causing huge irrecoverable losses,” the Petrol Pump Dealers Association said in a statement on Monday.
The fuel pump dealers body also said that their overhead charges have increased manifold in the past five years.
“Our constant demand to revise dealer commission has been overlooked by the oil marketing companies,” the statement noted. “By doing so, oil marketing companies are making their own network financially unviable.”
The excise duty cut was announced after fuel prices reached record-high levels. Fuel prices have been one of the major factors in the rise in India’s inflation levels. India’s retail inflation rose to an eight-year high of 7.79% in April.
Meanwhile, the price rise indicator in wholesale markets was at 15.08% in April. It has now remained in double digits for 13 consecutive months.