Oil distribution mechanism impacting trade: Pump owners

Kolkata, March 21:

About 25,000 petrol-pump owners on Saturday complained of the growing discontent in the distribution mechanism, with fluctuating oil prices impacting their trade.

petrol bunk“Normally, oil price changes are implemented at midnight either on 15th or 31st of every month. However, in the past instances, the price changes are happening at random dates flouting this norm. This is resulting in petrol pump owners across India incurring losses and shortage of oil supply at times,” general secretary of West Bengal Petroleum Dealers Association (WBPDA), Saradindu Pal told IANS on Saturday here.

WBPDA is part of All India Petroleum Dealers Association, an industry body representing over 25,000 petrol-pump owners in the country.

He said the procuring cost of oil is becoming unstable in this process and petrol pump owners need to be compensated.

“We have written a letter to Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil to compensate oil dealers in this regard and awaiting reply,” he said.

He alleged when the oil prices rise, oil public sector (PSU) companies stops the supply of oil citing various reasons but when the oil price decreases, the oil sellers “forcefully” books an order.

“We demand that credit notes for purchase made three days prior to price change should be given”, he said.

Pal also said the ongoing system of commission from the oil PSUs is “unrealistic and rigid”.

“It must be transparent, prepared with realistic figures and must be able to effect changes without delay. All businesses in the country today operate on a percentage basis, taking care of the changes as they happen like change in wages, electricity costs, indirect taxes and cess etc except for petroleum trade”, he said.

The association said with the oil PSUs getting more aggressive to push oil sales, licenses are given haphazardly to people to enter the oil retailing trade which is proving to be detrimental to the industry.

“The system of opening new outlets today is mindless and results in a national waste of money and resources. Any business expansion is based on economic viability and accountability. New retail outlets must be opened by doing proper viability survey and officials must be held accountable for their decisions if found unjustified”, he said. IANS

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