Petrol retailers in north Andhra dropped their plan to go on strike or resort to working in shifts and will render 24-hour service.

Clearing the air on the confusion over some retailers planning to go on strike, Visakhapatnam Petrol Dealers Association secretary T. Narayana Reddy said that the plan was dropped as a decision on their demand for increasing the commission on diesel and petrol was expected soon.

Mr. Narayana Reddy told reporters on Tuesday that the Apoorva Chandra Committee, appointed after a representation, had recommended that the commission be increased to 2.85 per cent on the sale price (to customers) from the present below two per cent. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had also written to the chairmen of the three oil companies on September 20 to take a decision within a fortnight, he said.

Mr. Reddy regretted that while the price of petrol had increased from Rs.30 to Rs.74 over a period of time, the commission remained unchanged.

On the other hand, the cost of working capital, salaries, power bill, and loss due to evaporation were mounting.

In Andhra Pradesh, the problem became worse with the power cuts. At an average power cut rate of four hours a day, every dealer had to spend up to Rs.40,000 on running generator.

Considering these factors, the commission should be increased as recommended by the committee, he urged.

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