Friday, 25 May, 2018

Modi government slams move to close petrol pumps on Sundays

India is the world’s third-largest oil consumer Modi government slams move to close petrol pumps on Sundays
Debra Rodriguez | 21 April, 2017, 03:27

The fuel pump owners have claimed that the decision to shut down fuel outlets was taken a few years back. "Now, we have made a decision to shut the outlets on Sundays", said Suresh Kumar, an executive committee member of the consortium of Indian petroleum dealers.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked people to contribute to fuel reduction in his first Mann Ki Baat [on All India Radio] and that has inspired us", the Association President said.

The Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD), which has presence mainly in Southern states, Maharashtra and Haryana, has given a call to work for eight hours a day and keep punps shut on Sundays beginning May 14.

Annually, the average sale of petrol and diesel in the State is estimated to be Rs. 56,000 crore and Rs. 153 crore per day.

The oil ministry has denounced the decision of some petrol pump operators to keep outlets closed on Sundays, saying such a move will be of inconvenience to the public. Murali said there were around 4,850 outlets selling petrol and diesel in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone.

According to him, in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, there were 250-300 outlets owned by oil marketing companies which are not members of the association.

He also said that dealers are within their rights to declare Sunday as a holiday and that they had been paying employees double wages. While this is essentially a move to curb operational costs, KP Murali, the president of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association says otherwise.

In order to tackle emergency situations, one staff member will be available at every fuel pump.

"A decision has been taken but we are waiting for a final communication from CIPD", Ashok Nareddi of Telangana Petroleum Dealers' Association told IANS.

A weekly holiday plus working on a single shift on other days will help the petrol pumps to drastically reduce their running expenditure, he added.

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