Petrol pumps to remain shut on Sundays from May 14 unless Centre meets dealers’ demands
A consortium of 53,000 fuel bunk operators is also considering cutting back working hours to a one-time shift of eight to nine hours.
The Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, which has around 53,000 members, on Monday asked its members to keep diesel and petrol pumps non-operational for all vehicles apart from emergency services like ambulances on Sundays, CIPD President AD Sathyanarayan told Business Standard.
The decision is part of efforts to push the government to pay them a higher commission. CIPD Chairman (Legal Affairs) Ramesh Kundan Mal told The Times of India that the decision was part of a “nationwide protest...demanding implementation of the recommendations of the Apurva Chandra Committee appointed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gases in 2010”, which included giving fuel dealers margin money.
The consortium is also considering introducing a one-time shift of eight to nine hours for petrol pumps. At present, some petrol retail outlets work from 6 am to 10 pm, while there are a few that operate 24x7.
In January, petrol dealers had called off a similar protest after oil marketing companies had assured dealers that their commission would be revised. The dealers had threatened to continue the agitation till higher margins are announced, according to The Economic Times.
The All India Petroleum Dealers’ Association, however, has warned against the decision. “This will create panic. The association that has called for such a move has presence in only Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. We are not supporting this decision, while we also have the same demands to increase [dealer’s commission],” AIPDA President Ajay Bansal told Business Standard.
There are 56,190 fuel bunks across India, of which public sector companies such as Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum have a combined network of 52,604 outlets.