Petrol pump owners in India have decided not to purchase fuel starting from June 16, protesting against the “unilateral” decision by the government to roll-out the daily revision of fuel prices nationally.
Though the associations are not terming it as a strike, they claim that “no-purchase” from June 16 onwards means petrol pumps are likely to go dry from the day their stock gets over. “It is not a strike, but there will be no purchase of petrol or diesel, starting from June 16,” Ajay Bansal, president of All India Petroleum Dealers’ Association, told Business Standard. According to industry figures, India has about 57,000 fuel retail outlets, out of which state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) have a combined network of close to 53,000 outlets.
Currently, IOC, BPCL and HPCL review retail fuel prices every fortnight taking into account of the global crude oil prices. The announcement of daily price revision of petrol and diesel came after a successful trial run starting from May 1 in five locations — Pondicherry, Chandigarh, Jamshedpur, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam. Even private fuel retailers like Essar Oil and Reliance Industries too followed the system in these cities.
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The dealers were worried because of the declining stock value and were demanding an increase in dealer commission, which is between two-three per cent now. According to sources, oil marketing companies are likely to take a call on dealer commission by June 30.
“Daily price revisions of petrol and diesel will make the retail prices more reflective of the current market conditions, minimising the volatility in the retail selling price. Further, it will lead to increased transparency in the system. This will also enable smoother flow of products from refinery and depots to retail outlets,” IOC had said in a statement last week.