Petroleum dealers call nationwide strike on July 12

Kolkata: The All India Petroleum Dealers’ Association has (AIPDA) called a nationwide petrol pump strike on July 12, protesting against the oil marketing companies’ failure to install 100 per cent automated system at the pumps and lack of transparency in the daily dynamic pricing mode.

The daily dynamic pricing mode has been been started from June 16.

“Our national body AIPDA has called the nationwide strike on July 12. Ahead of that, we won’t purchase any oil on July 5 as a mark of protest,” West Bengal Petroleum Dealers’ Association President Tushar Sen said.

He said after the introduction of the dynamic pricing system, petroleum prices have been on a downslide. “But we are totally in the dark about the process. Small dealers are facing crisis”.

In West Bengal and other states, the automated system has been installed in only one percent of the petrol pumps, Sen said.

“The oil marketing companies were supposed to install 100 per cent automated system at the pumps. But they have not done it,” he said.

The government and the petroleum dealers had agreed on a daily pricing system as opposed to the earlier practice of the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) reviewing and revising retail fuel prices every fortnight on the basis of global crude oil prices.

That revision used to take effect from midnight, prompting dealers to give a representation to Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan for a change in timing as under the daily pricing regime they would have to deploy manpower everyday to change rates at mid-night.