Petroleum dealers of the national oil marketing companies have deferred their decision to go on strike.
“The indefinite strike by the dealers from September 20 has been deferred following a set of assurances from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,” said M.Kannan, president, Tamilnadu Petroleum Dealers’ Association. He was speaking to The Hindu over phone from New Delhi after participating in a meeting of leaders of the Federation of All India Petroleum Traders’ Association and the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora on Saturday afternoon.
The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Jitin Prasada, Secretary to the Ministry S.Sundareshan and senior officials of the oil companies also attended the meeting, he said.
Giving details of the assurances, Ashok Badhwar, president of the Federation said it was agreed that a committee would be constituted to look into the demand of the dealers for a commission of 5 per cent of the retail price of the products. Now the commission is a fixed rate, irrespective of any change in the pump price of petrol and diesel. The government, however, revises the commission from time to time, including one recently, with which the dealers were not happy.
Mr. Badhwar added that the proposed committee, in which he and directors from the Ministry and oil companies would be members, would submit its report in three months.
On the demand of the dealers against opening more petrol bunks, he said it was decided at the meeting that the oil companies would open new retail outlets if needed but after seeking permission from the Ministry.
As regard another demand of the dealers for a uniform retail price of automobile fuels across the country, Mr.Badhwar said the Ministry of Petroleum would approach the Finance Ministry since the issue involved government levies.
The meeting also decided that the new Marketing Discipline Guidelines – the norms governing the dealers – would be implemented after another round of meeting with representatives of the Federation.