Modi government slams move to close petrol pumps on Sundays

Paterniano Del Favero
Aprile 21, 2017

All India Petroleum Dealers Association President Ajay Bansal had told PTI that the association, which has almost 46,000 petrol pump owners as members, are not participating in the closure. While this is essentially a move to curb operational costs, KP Murali, the president of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association says otherwise.

The oil ministry has denounced the decision of a section of petrol pump operators, mostly in South India, to keep outlets shut on Sundays, saying such a move will inconvenience the general public.

Fuel pump owners' body has said that they had planned to shut their outlets on Sundays a few years back, but "oil marketing companies had then requested us to reconsider our decision".

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to follow traffic rules and also save petrol and diesel". "On an average, the per day sales of fuel is for around Rs 153 crore". The stand taken by the Federation scotched reports in media that petrol pumps in eight states, including Karnataka will observe holiday on Sunday from May 14.

"We are operating on extremely low margins, selling high-tech unleaded petrol-diesel products in which the evaporation rate is very high, resulting in huge losses", Lodh told IANS. "The Sunday-holiday decision will save around 20 per cent fuel burned in the country". "All these days we have been paying workers double wages", he said. Says commuter Shrinivas Gokhale, a senior executive with Bajaj Electricals, "A majority of Mumbaikars travel by train or bus on weekdays and take out their cars or bikes only on weekends".

The petrol pump owners also plan to mark May 10 (Wednesday) as a "No Purchase Day" before they start closing down on Sundays from May 14 onward.

In order to tackle emergency situations, one staff member will be available at every fuel pump. "That struggle is going on". "This is a bad decision", said Deepak Bhat, a resident of DLF Phase 1.

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