Petrol pumps to go on strike on October 13

Petrol pumps to go on strike on October 13

Petrol pumps to go on strike on October 13

More than 54,000 petrol pumps across the country would have remain shut if the strike went through but the latest development suggests that it's not going to happen now.

Dealers are protesting marketing guidelines amended by public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs), which introduce stringent penal action for offences involving short delivery of products, operating automated retail units on manual mode and improper maintenance of toilets.

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The United Petroleum Front, an umbrella organisation for the Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders, the All-India Petroleum Dealers Association and the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, had also threatened indefinite stoppage of purchase and sale operations from October 27. "Petroleum products should be brought under GST so that our long-pending demand of "one nation, one rate" is fulfilled to benefit the consumers". S Ramesh, BPCL director (marketing), said even if there was a strike this Friday, it will not be "total". Oil companies never criticised the dealers or the union openly but with changing time this had to be done, he added. "Their demands are very unreasonable as nearly all their demands have been met and issues resolved". We came to know about it in the media. The demands include upward revision of the dealer margins every six months, better terms for return on investment, resolution of manpower issues, a fresh study of handling losses, and resolution of issues related to transportation and ethanol blending.

Bordoloi said that another demand was to do away with the marketing discipline guidelines announced by OMCs, which seek to penalise dealers for shortcomings up to Rs 2 lakh under a zero tolerance policy towards short-changing of customers.

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According to the OMCs, certain dealers have managed to manipulate the vending machines at the petrol pumps that were sealed by Weights & Measure Department (W&MD) and cheat the consumers.

"In fact, it's a question of short-changing labourers, flouting government fixed minimum wages", said an OMC official.

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