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

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

"We have just now been made aware of this decision by the petroleum dealers through media reports", a senior Petroleum Ministry source said when queried about the dealers' decision to shut fuel bunks every Sunday starting May 14 to protest the public sector oil companies' failure to hike dealer margins.

"Our members in 22 states are not going on any protests", he clarified, adding that the association has called a meeting of the general body in the next few weeks to discuss the agreement PSU oil companies had signed with it in November a year ago to consider their demand for raising fuel margins.

Recently, the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD), the apex body of country's petrol outlets, had resolved at its executive committee meeting at Kurukshetra that Sundays would be observed as weekly holidays for all retail outlets in the country.

Kumar, also the vice-president of Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association, said almost 20,000 outlets in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Haryana would be shut for 24 hours on Sundays, starting 14 May.

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K.P. Murali said that, "On an average the per day sales of fuel is for around Rs 153 crore. While exact figures are not available on sales on Sundays, it will be around 20 per cent less", he said. Murali said there were around 4,850 outlets selling petrol and diesel in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone.

"Though we dealers will lose out on our income, we do not mind closing our outlets". "We are within our right to declare Sunday a holiday".

He said all the outlets will have one staffer on Sundays who will supply fuel in an emergency. Meanwhile, Telangana Petroleum Dealers Association president Rajiv Amram said the association would meet on Wednesday to discuss the implications of the move.

A weekly holiday plus working on a single shift on other days will help the petrol pumps to drastically reduce their running expenditure, he added.

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