Over 54,000 petrol dealers on nationwide strike on 13 October

Published on Oct 07 2017 - - India - -

Mumbai: The United Petroleum Front (UPF) on Saturday announced nationwide strike of dealers on 13 October to press for various demands including better margins and inclusion of petroleum products under the goods and services tax (GST) regime.

It warned that if the demands were not met at the earliest, fuel dealers will be forced to stop, indefinitely, purchase and sale operations from 27 October. UPF represents over 54,000 dealers from the Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders, the All-India Petroleum Dealers Association and the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers.

The strike is to press for long-pending demands ignored by the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) since an agreement was signed last November, it said.

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. The front alleged that the letters which it wrote to OMCs as well as a letter from the Cabinet Secretariat dated 28 June, did not elicit positive response.

Dealers also want the government to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime. They are also upset with the marketing discipline guidelines announced by OMCs, which seek to penalise dealers for shortcomings up to Rs2 lakh under a zero tolerance policy towards shortchanging of customers.

Fuel dealers are also opposed to the daily price mechanism introduced from 1 July, saying it has benefited neither the consumers nor the dealers. They are also against, citing safety concerns, a proposal of the government to allow home delivery of oil products.

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