Petroleum ministry red-flags move to shut petrol pumps on Sundays

The Ministry said that it will create inconvenience to the general public who go out on holiday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 20, 2017 8:24 pm
petrol pump closed, sunday petrol closed, petrol closed, petrol ministry, ministry of petrol, indian express news, india news 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.” (Representational image)

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on Thursday criticised the decision of a section of petrol pump operators to close their outlets, mostly in south India, on Sunday. The ministry said it will create inconvenience to the general public who go out on holiday. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to the nation not to use fuel at least for a day as it would help cut India’s import dependence. The ministry, however, took offence at the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers who used this to close pumps.

According to a PTI report, the oil ministry said, “It was aimed at conserving fuel and not for petrol pump owners to remain shut.” Meanwhile, the All India Petroleum Dealers Association has said it is not participating in the closure exercise. It represents 80 per cent of the 53,224 petrol pumps of public sector oil firms.

Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, parts of Karnataka — mostly around Bengaluru — and some areas of Maharashtra, especially Mumbai, may see petrol pump owners down their shutters on Sundays beginning May 14 to press for higher commission on petrol and diesel they sell.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in a series of tweets said they neither endorse nor approve of the move by a small section of dealers to keep their petrol pumps closed on Sunday.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also said, “Major dealer’s federations have clarified that they don’t endorse any closure of petrol pumps on any day.” He added, “Such closure of petro pumps by a small section of dealers will lead to inconvenience to general public.”

All India Petroleum Dealers Association President Ajay Bansal had told PTI that the association, which has nearly 46,000 petrol pump owners as members, are not participating in the closure. He said, “Our members in 22 states are not going on any protests.” In next few weeks, a general body meeting will take place to discuss the agreement that the PSU oil companies had signed with it in November last year to consider their demand for raising fuel margins.

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