Amid the protest by petrol pump operators regarding VAT rates, FPJ visited a few petrol pumps in the city and found that business was running as usual. However, the decision to go on a strike by petrol pump operators will be taken after a meeting with the centre on Thursday.
The petrol/ diesel dealers and pump owners are in turmoil after the fuel prices came down, a day after the central government cut the excise duty on the fuels. According to sources, the fuel stations have stock for another 2-3 days and they will decide on what needs to be done during that time. The All India Petroleum Dealers Association (AIPDA) will meet with Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister HS Puri on Thursday over the losses they incurred after the reduction in excise duty by the Centre.
Meanwhile, the supply of petrol / diesel at petrol pumps in Bandra, Dadar, Churchgate and other parts of the city seemed to be in sufficient amounts, fulfilling needs of the citizens. One of the petrol dealers at Bandra said that the decision whether to shut the pumps or continue to supply petrol is the decision of the individual dealer or owner; but that decision will be heavily influenced by the outcome of the upcoming meeting.
A vehicle owner who came to fill petrol at a pump near Churchgate, Vikrant Seth, said, “I know the central government has reduced the excise duties on petrol and diesel, but on the other hand the petrol pump owners and dealers have their own demands and losses to cover up. This may also cause strikes and shutting down of pumps and ultimately cause inconvenience to the common public.” He added that it is essential for the government and pump owners to come to a common consensus and not let this situation affect the daily commute of citizens.
Some of the demands by pump operators include reimbursement of money lost due to the reduction in taxes and duties that was done over a weekend while they refilled their stocks as per the previous prices as on May 20. They also want an increase in their commission which currently is less than 3 per cent. After the reduction of excise duty and VAT, one litre of petrol will now cost Rs 109.27 and a litre of diesel Rs 95.84