Do you own a vehicle? Then chances are high that your new Saturday routine would include a bit of queuing up at petrol stations.
From May 14th, the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers has decided to shut down their petrol pumps on all Sundays. Except for emergency vehicles and services like ambulances, petrol and diesel will not be made available for other vehicles on Sundays. So, if you are planning a weekend trip or a Sunday ride, you better fill up your fuel tanks well and early.
Reason for this Decision
Are you imagining this to be a socially relevant move in tandem with our Prime Minister’s great vision to reduce fuel consumption? Well, then you couldn’t be more wrong!
It can be said to be a tactical shift from CIPD to pressurize the Government to take a decision on the ongoing dealer commission issue. The CIPD has been demanding a higher commission from oil marketing companies to cover their increasing operating costs. This grueling duel between the two has been going for a long time now with no proper end in sight.
An Out of the Box Protest
We have seen it all from CIPD – Lightning strikes, indefinite strikes! But, this new move from CIPD can be termed to be a fresh and creative approach against the oil marketing companies in the dealer-commission issue. They are also considering the proposition to cut down the current 24 hours operating time to a mere eight hour working day. CIPD claims that they are forced to make the above changes as they are unable to meet the huge operational costs with the current dealer commission.
To give the credit where it is due, it is an out of the box protest for sure. And to a decent extent, it does contribute bit towards reducing fuel consumption in our country.
Demands of CIPD
First and foremost, the CIPD wants the Government to respond on the dealer commission issue. The Government’s inability to take a decision on the issue is creating panic among petrol pump owners and consumers. The CIPD wants the oil marketing companies to consider the recommendation of the Apoorva Chandra Committee which suggested a higher margin for petrol pump owners. They also want their commissions to be reviewed on a half-yearly basis.
Is the demand from CIPD relevant?
Coming back to the dealer commission issue, we have got to admit that the demands of CIPD aren’t entirely baseless. The operational costs like rent, wages, uniform expenses and audit expenses have indeed gone up by a fair distance. It might be difficult for pumps to break even at the present dealer commission rates.
Why there is no need to Panic?
The good thing about this whole strike is that that CIPD is not backed by the other similar associations. CIPD has a presence in just a few states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Without support from the other associations, it would be impossible for them to call a nationwide protest.