Petroleum dealers put off strike
Ludhiana September 19:
Petroleum dealers under the aegis of the Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders (FAIPT) have deferred their indefinite strike call scheduled for Monday in favour of their demand for a hike in commission on sale of petrol and diesel following an appeal by Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora in New Delhi.
Spokesperson of FAIPT Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal while talking to reporters said the minister had appealed to the dealers to withdraw the strike considering the upcoming Commonwealth Games and promised to consider their demands sympathetically. “We have decided to defer the strike. We will reconsider it after the games,” Grewal said.
They had announced to go on an indefinite strike from September 20 stating that despite their hard struggle they had failed to convince the government to raise commission to five per cent of the invoice value instead of two per cent per litre given at present. At present, petrol pump dealers get a commission of 73 paise per litre on diesel and Rs 1.14 per litre on petrol.
Petroleum dealers putting forward their point said a lot of petrol was lost in evaporation in petrol pumps, as a result, petrol pump dealers get only 50 per cent commission and they pay minimum wages, power tariffs and bank charges out of the remaining amount. He further said in the present times when the rates of every commodity is sky rocketing, it had become impossible to continue with the same percentage.
“The percentage of the commission had been two per cent from the past many years. Many petrol pumps have also faced closure,” he said. “Some petrol pumps were allotted to Kargil martyrs. These families have failed to sustain the business and have shut down the pumps as they are not generating profit any more,” Grewal added.