NEW DELHI: After a recent threat from the three state-owned oil firms — Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) — over fuel supply disruptions, it is now the turn of petrol pump dealers to up the ante. Dealers have threatened to stop petrol and diesel supply from April 24 due to long delays in revision of dealer commissions by the government.
Announcing an indefinite nation-wide strike dealers of over 40,500 petrol pumps across India are demanding a 5% dealer’s commission on every litre of petrol and diesel sold to consumers.
At present, there is a fixed commission of Rs 1.5 on every litre of petrol priced at R65.6 per litre (in Delhi) and 87 paise on every litre of diesel at Rs 40.9 a litre (in Delhi).
If accepted, consumers will end up paying another extra Rs 1.7 per litre on petrol, over and above the Rs 1.5 per litre already been paid.
Besides, IOC, HPCL and BPCL are already preparing to increase petrol prices by around R3-4 a litre in the next few days.
“All petrol pumps across India will run dry from April 23 as it is becoming difficult to sustain our operations,” Ajay Bansal, general secretary, Federation of All India Petroleum Traders (FAIPT), told Hindustan Times.
“This strike follows government inaction to our long-pending demand to change dealer’s commission,” said Ashok Badhwar, president, FAIPT.
The petroleum ministry ha said that it was in talks with the FAIPT and “expect an amicable settlement on the issue soon.” “Even if they go on strike, we have quiet a few company-owned and company-operated petrol pumps as well as pumps of private players such as Essar, Reliance and Shell to service customers.”