Petrol pump owners across the country have threatened to shut down filling stations on Sundays unless their demands for higher margins are met. They have also said that filling stations will operate from 9 am to 6 pm to cut costs, unless the government intervenes. Ravi Shinde, general secretary of Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, told NDTV Profit that pump owners have decided to observe Sunday offs from May 14 while from May 15, dealers will operate from 9 am to 6 pm. Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, an all-India organisation, represents over 50,000 petrol pump dealers.
Mr Shinde also said the petrol dealers association will observe May 10 as a “No Purchase Day” to press for their demands. “Not much of disruption is expected, but it will be an indication for oil companies to take note that dealers are on war path,” he added.
Elaborating on pump owners’ demands, Mr Shinde said oil marketing companies “have not honoured their written commitment of giving dealer margins in line with Apurva Chandra committee report”.
According to the committee’s calculations, dealers should be getting Rs. 3,333 per kilolitre on petrol and Rs. 2,126 per kilolitre on diesel, he said, referring to dealers’ margins. “We are currently getting Rs. 2,570 and Rs. 1,620 for petrol and diesel respectively,” he added.
Petrol pump owners had in January threatened to stop accepting card payments over levy on digital payments, forcing the government to intervene.
Fuel consumption in India grew at a slower rate of 5 per cent in the last fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2017, as diesel demand cooled down. The world’s third largest oil consumer saw demand for fuel and petroleum products rise to 194.2 million tonnes in 2016-17, up from 184.6 MT in the previous fiscal year, data from Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Oil Ministry showed.