NEW DELHI: Over 40,000 petrol pump dealers have decided not to go on a nation-wide strike from Monday after oil minister Jaipal Reddy agreed to accept their demands late on Friday evening, association general secretary Ajay Bansal said.
“Most of the demands are being addressed by oil minister including implementation of Apurva Chandra committee recommendations,” Bansal told ET after the meeting. Dealers were pressing their demand for raising their commission on petrol by about 27 paise per litre and diesel by 14 paise per litre as recommended by the official panel.
The government has fixed dealers’ commission at 1.49/litre on petrol and 0.91 paise/litre on diesel. The committee also recommends higher commissions and levy of user charges on services such as filling up air and providing drinking water and toilets. Earlier, they were demanding a 5% commission. ET first reported it last week.
Federation of All India Petrol Traders’ secretary general Bansal said it was agreed that IOC, BPCL and HPCL would follow ‘prescribed guidelines’ before opening new pumps. Dealers were opposing state oil firms’ plan to open 12,000 new pumps in the same market that would reduce their sale and squeeze margins. He said that dealers wanted the government “to implement its own committee’s report in toto.”
Ministry officials said that imposing user charges could invite political oppositions during the Budget session of Parliament. The report proposes charges such as 2 per vehicle for filling air in two-wheelers, 5 in a car and 20 in a truck or a bus. It also allows dealers to charge 2 from customers for using toilets and some nominal charges for drinking water.
“The dealership network is already reeling under the burden of 1% evaporation of petroleum products and 55% increase in minimum wages by state governments. Then, while increasing the price of petroleum products, government has not once increased the dealers’ commission,” Bansal said.