Vehicle owners had better top up their tanks before Sunday, as petroleum dealers across the State will resort to a ‘no purchase’ agitation on October 1 and 2 demanding, among other things, commission on the basis of retail sale price instead of the present system of fixed commission for every litre sold.
While the stocks they receive till Sunday may meet the demand on Monday, outlets that see brisk sales may go dry by Tuesday. Motorists may find it difficult to get fuel on Tuesday.
The agitation is part of a nationwide protest called by the Confederation of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD), which is demanding implementation of the recommendations of the Apurva Chandra committee, appointed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gases in 2010, said N. Bhushan Narang, president of the Karnataka Petroleum Dealers’ Association. Mr. Narang told The Hindu that on the two days, dealers would not buy petrol, diesel and autorickshaw LPG.
However, they would sell the products till stocks last. If the Ministry and public sector oil companies do not concede their demands, dealers would resort to ‘one-shift sales’, that is, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the city limits and from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on highways, he said.
While vehicle owners may not be affected on October 1 and 2, there could be long queues if dealers resort to one-shift sales, Mr. Narang said.
Presently, many outlets function between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.; some are open round the clock.
The dealers’ demands, according to the confederation, have been pending for long before the Ministry.
The recommendations of the committee include fixing the stock loss on petrol at 0.75 per cent; charging for air and toilet facilities at fuel pumps; fixing dealer margin on the product’s price in the State; and reviewing the commission every six months.
Meanwhile, LPG dealers attached to the public sector oil-marketing companies, who had threatened to launch a nationwide agitation from October 1, are yet to take a final call on the proposal.
N. Sathyan, secretary of the All-India LPG Distributors’ Federation, Karnataka chapter, told The Hindu that three sets of prices have been communicated to the dealers: one for domestic subsidised cylinders, one for domestic non-subsidised and another for exempt categories such as government hospitals, the mid-day meal scheme, etc.
There is still no clarity, and the future course of action would be decided in a day or two, he said.