Petrol pumps withdraw strike call over daily price revision
New Delhi: Petrol pump owners on Wednesday called off a proposed strike after oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan assured them that the revised price of petrol and diesel will kick in at 6am every day instead of at midnight as proposed earlier.
The new system is set to take off on Friday.
Fuel pump owners will be told of the revised rate every day 8pm but the rate will only be applicable from 6am the next day. This will allow fuel pumps time to feed their machines with the new rate.
A midnight revision, said dealers, would have meant shutting their pumps for a few hours everyday to reflect the revised price, which could have made matters difficult at fuel outlets on highways that remain open through the night.
A majority of the nearly 58,000 petrol pumps in India are owned and operated by dealers. And 60-70% of these pumps are on highways, said the All India Petroleum Dealers Association.
“There were some apprehensions that dealers had about the daily revision of petrol and diesel prices. But now it has been resolved,” said oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan after a two-and-a-half-hour meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Indian Oil Corporation said that 87 control rooms will be set up across the country to extend technical help to dealers. The state-run company said the daily price revisions will be communicated through screens at petrol pumps, toll free numbers and mobile apps.
“It takes manpower at pumps to reflect the daily price change. The new price has to be fed on all the oil dispensing machines and calculators, then the stock position will have to be measured and metre readings noted. Dealers would have to shut their fuel pumps for a few hours every night for this,” said Ajay Bansal, president, All India Petroleum Dealers Association. He added that all dealers’ associations have decided to call off their proposed strike.
Currently, fuel prices are revised by oil companies on the 1st and 16th of every month based on average international crude prices and foreign exchange.
“The oil minister refused to relent. But he has assured us the infrastructure to implement a daily revision along with a promise to revise our commission from July 31,” said Nischal Singhania, president, Delhi Petrol Dealers Association.