Petrol pumps may remain closed on April 23 due to trader strike

Petrol traders will go on a strike on April 23rd to push their demand for a hike in commission rates on petrol by 27 paise per litre and by 14 paisa per litre on diesel. Over 40,000 pumps across India will remain closed on that day.

What the petrol traders’ federation demands?

The Federation of All India Petrol Traders wants the government to implement the Apurva Chandra committee report prepared by the marketing directors of three oil PSUs (Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum), under the then Chairman Apurva Chandra.

At present, the dealers get a sales commission of Rs. 1.49 per litre for petrol and Rs. 0.91 per litre for diesel. The report also proposes levying Rs. 2 for filling air in motorcycles, Rs. 5 for filling air in cars and Rs. 20 for filling air in trucks and buses. The report also proposes frame guidelines to open new pumps. Also read: How you can save more than Rs 2000 every month by following mileage and maintenance tips

“If the government accepts our demand to implement the Apurva Chandra committee report and frame guidelines to open new pumps, we will call off our token strike of April 23, else we will even go for an indefinite closure from April 30,” Ajay Bansal, secretary general, Federation of All India Petrol Traders, was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.

What the oil ministry thinks?

The ministry is thinking of implementing certain proposals of the Apurva Chandra committee report while ignoring proposals such as levying user charges for filling air, providing drink water and toilet facilities. As per the ministry officials, levying user charges for the aforementioned services would cause public anger.

However, the ministry is not willing to slow down opening new pumps which the federation of petrol traders opposes. The oil firms are planning to open 12,000 new pumps across the country. This may affect sales and margins of the current dealers.

Conclusion

Opening new petrol pumps will be a welcome move for vehicle owners and will help reach out to more users. But, levying user charges for filling air, drinking water and toilet facilities will definitely create rage among public who are already burdened by high fuel prices.