Over 3,500 petrol outlets across the State may remain open for only 8-10 hours instead of their usual 16-24 from October 15.
This will happen if petroleum dealers do not get a higher commission, as per the Apoorva Chandra committee’s recommendations and will also mean longer vehicle queues at all outlets.
Members of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association on Wednesday urged oil majors to implement the recommendations of the committee, which had recommended Rs. 1,612 as commission for every 1,000 litres of petrol, and Rs. 925 for 1,000 litres of diesel. But the Central government has fixed the amount as Rs. 1,499 and Rs. 912 for petrol and diesel respectively.
Addressing a press conference, the association’s president A.R. Damodaran said the committee had also said that the amount must be reviewed every six months based on the consumer price index, current rate of fuel, and wage structure. The association’s general secretary Hyder Ali said that petroleum dealers were also allowed to charge for air and toilet facilities. “Our intention is only to show our displeasure to the oil majors and the government, and is not against the consumers,” he said.
L. Ramachandran, the association’s vice president said, “We are unable to run our businesses with the current commissions. On an average, one outlet has sales of 4,000 litres of fuel per day. Taking this into consideration, the commission amount is too little. With an increase in octane content in petrol, evaporation losses are higher for small outlets, but that is just one component in the commission. We want an increase in evaporation loss compensation.”
K. Suresh Kumar, also a vice president, said the association planned to not purchase products on October 1 and 2, but would keep their outlet tanks full so that customers did not suffer. “In this only the governments and companies will be affected because 49 per cent of the petrol price and 33 per cent of the diesel price goes towards duties and taxes,” he said.
There are around 800 outlets in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts.