Oil Ministry condones petroleum dealers' decision to close petrol pumps on Sundays

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The stand taken by the Federation scotched reports in media that petrol pumps in eight states, including Karnataka will observe holiday on Sunday from May 14.

"Such closure of petrol pumps by a small section of dealers will lead to inconvenience to general public", said a tweet by petroleum ministry.

Already, the All India Petroleum Dealers Association, which claims to represent 80 per cent of the 53,224 petrol pumps of public sector oil firms, has said it is not participating in the closure exercise. "So those who purchase the diesel or petrol a day in advance will have no problems", he added.

Satish Kumar has said that the association's decision was taken based on the PM Narendra Modi's "Mann Ki Baat" Programme. The dealers are demanding the implementation of recommendations of the Apoorva Chandra Committee, which includes hiking of dealers' commission from Rs 2.66 per litre to Rs 3.33 per litre.

Fuel pump owners' body has said that they had planned to shut their outlets on Sundays a few years back, but "oil marketing companies had then requested us to reconsider our decision". "We would like to wait and watch how the situation pans out. We will try to work out a solution before that", said Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) chairman, MK Surana.

Talking to reporters here today, Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association President K.P. Murali said the closure of petrol bunks on Sundays from May 14 has nothing to do with the dealer margins.

He said there were around 4,850 outlets selling petrol and diesel in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone. "On an average, the per day sales of fuel is for around Rs 153 crore".

The decision will also be communicated to the oil supplying companies soon, he said almost 20,000 outlets will be closed on the holiday. "We are within our right to declare Sunday a holiday. All these days we have been paying workers double wages", he said.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan retweeted and said, "Major dealer's federations have clarified that they don't endorse any closure of petrol pumps on any day".

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