New Delhi: Petrol pump owners have announced intentions of keeping pumps closed on all Sundays, starting from May 14 If the government does not do something about their demands then this can turn out to be a major blow to commuters in few parts of the country and can be seen standing outside petrol pumps every Saturday to fill their vehicles.
The protest will be launched by the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD), will affect South India and Maharashtra the most as the key areas wherein they operate.
The action has been seen as a measure to put pressure on the government to meet the dealers' demands for higher rates of commission. However, All India Petroleum Dealers' Association does not support the act and has warned the CIPD of a resultant panic-like situation.
AIPD President Ajay Bansal is reported to have warned against the move and said, "This will create panic. The association that has called for such a move has a presence only in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. We are not supporting this decision, while we also have the same demands to increase [dealers commission]."
The CIPD justified the planned week-offs of petrol pumps by stating that the move is in line with the Prime Minister's vision of reducing fuel consumption. The association controls over 25,000 petrol p[umps across South India.
They also stated that fuel will only be served to emergency vehicles like ambulances, the CIPD further clarified that the move was part of a nation-wide backlash protesting the government's unwillingness to implement the recommendations of the Apurva Chandra Committee appointed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gases in 2010. It also includes some key points of the hike in the margin money given out to fuel dealers. Here is list of recommendations made by the AC Committee that the CIPD is demanding:
1. The Apurva Chandra Committee focuses on dealer commission and suggests that the sum should vary depending on cost of assets, manpower, electricity charges and also includes an interactive for high performers.
2. The report recommends that the dealer commission not be fixed as a percentage of the retail selling price of the fuel sold as a large portion of the retail sale price of Petrol and Diesel is comprised of taxes.
3. The committee also calls for a separate study regarding evaporation losses in HSD. This is because dealers have constantly indicated that with the introduction of higher grades of fuels of Euro-III and Euro-IV quality have meant that the stock losses have increased.
4. Further, the recommendations state that in order to account for dealer remuneration, apart from Manager's salary and cash handling/bank charges, separate new components may be considered in the dealer commission formulation.
5. Finally, a key demand that the CIPD is making on the basis of the report is that the linear formula for dealer commission on the basis of Rs/kl be revised. this is because such a measure benefits high selling dealers more as compared to the low selling dealers who get lower compensation.
Almost 50% of dealers commission is consumed in playing the compensation, in the form of salary and wages, to the people working at the station. This excludes the mandatory pension, health and other benefits that employees are given. In a bid to explain the scope of their protests, CIPD is also considering to cut off the nine-time shift to nine hours shift-work that currently ensures that the pump remains open throughout the day.