Petrol pumps across Mumbai have planned to remain shut on Sundays and will work on single shifts between 9am to 6pm on weekdays starting from May 15 in a protest against large overhead costs and low commission.
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The petrol dealers have long been experiencing losses in business due to steep expenses and oil companies not providing a hike to their commission when promised to do so in January, reported DNA India.
The report further stated that according to a member of Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association, the commission approved by the oil companies is based on the Apoorva Chandra committee report which stated 75 paise per litre for petrol and 50 paise per litre for diesel.
It quoted a member saying that oil companies promised a hike in January, which was postponed to March and they still haven't received it. In fact, they have been asked to wait further.
Similarly, in Bengaluru over 3,000 petrol stations will remain shut on Sundays with operational hours on weekdays limited between 9-6.
On May 10, Petrol dealers from Karnataka and Maharashtra have decided to protest by observing 'No Purchase Day' on the pending issues along with a a continued demand for a six-day working schedule.
The protest is backed by Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD).
In Mumbai over 223 petrol pumps will participate in this protest and over 4,700 from across Maharashtra.
"We will not buy anything from the oil companies on Wednesday, however, the public will not be inconvenienced as we will not stop dispensing fuel to customers as we keep enough fuel in storage," said a petrol pump dealer.
However, the Karnataka State Federation of Petroleum Dealers will not be supporting this movement, stating that there are other ways to get their long-pending requests.
"There are several other ways to get our demands met. At All India Petroleum Dealers Association (AIPDA) meeting held in New Delhi on May 6, it was unanimously decided that we should not resort to such protests," said H S Manjappa, president of Karnataka State Federation of Petroleum Dealers, to The New Indian Express.
"Reason given for the protest is also ridiculous. Prime Minister has only asked to save fuel and he never suggested closure of filling stations," he added.
Previously, the petroleum ministry has criticised the decision of a section of petrol pump operators to asking to remain shut on Sundays as it will inconvenience the general public at large.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal of not using fuel for a day to help cut India's import dependence, the ministry said it was aimed at conserving fuel and not for petrol pump owners to remain shut on Sundays.