Petrol Pump Dealers Withdraw Strike Call Over Daily Price Revision

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New Delhi: Petrol pump owners have decided to call off their proposed strike against the daily revision of oil prices from Friday after the government agreed to change the timing to 6 am everyday instead of midnight.

Until now price revisions used to come into effect from midnight but considering the fact that dealers would have to deploy manpower everyday to change rates in the middle of the night, the timing has now been changed.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the new timing of the price change was agreeable to the dealers and so daily price revision will be implemented from June 16 as previously decided.

“There was some practical difficulties which we have addressed in our meeting with leadership of all the three petroleum dealers association today,” he said. Instead of changing rates at midnight, it has been decided that prices should change before the start of business, he said. “Daily prices will change from 6 am,” he said.

Federation of All India Petroleum Traders (FAIPT) president Ashok Badhwar said the government has taken the decision of daily price revision in public interest. “And in public interest, we are also withdrawing no- sale-no-purchase agitation planned for June 16,” he said.

Pradhan said the daily price revision follows successful pilot in five cities and would lead to even the smallest change in international oil prices being passed on to consumers.

On Sunday, petrol pump owners had declared that they would not purchase fuel from oil companies nor sell to customers from June 16.

FAIPT, which claims to represent most of the nation’s 54,000 fuel stations, earlier this week had said there will be “no purchase no sale” of petrol and diesel on June 16 protesting against the government’s decision to implement daily revision in fuel prices.

FAIPT had also said 50 per cent of petrol pumps sells on average 30 kilolitre of fuel per month. “One tank lorry of 18 Kls lasts most of such small dealers 7 to 10 days. Any such decision shall wipe out his entire working capital if the prices were to go down frequently,” it said. After this, on Monday, Indian Oil Corporation Chairman Sanjiv Singh had met petrol pump dealers from various states.

“Whatever they were doing at 15-day frequency, they will be required to do daily. That is the only change”, he had told PTI. The decision to revise fuel rates daily from June 16 is an extension of a pilot that the oil companies have been running in five cities since May 1.

State-run oil retailers Indian Oil Corporation Limited(IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) had implemented daily revision of retail selling prices (RSP) of petrol and diesel on a pilot basis in Udaipur, Jamshedpur, Puducherry, Chandigarh, and Vishakhapatnam.

Currently, except for the five cities that were part of the pilot project, for the rest of the country, companies revise petrol and diesel prices every fortnight.

Petrol and diesel prices have been deregulated in India for years now – which means they are linked to market rates. Oil marketing companies revise petrol and diesel rates every fortnight based on global oil prices and foreign exchange rate. The three state-run oil marketing companies operate over 95 per cent of the retail outlets (petrol pumps) in the country.