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Petrol pump dealers call off strike on October 13
12 October 2017, 11:46 | Cameron Gross
Petrol bunks strike from October 12 midnight
Addressing mediapersons here today, the president of NEIPDA (Upper Assam chapter) Samiran Bordoloi said that 1422 outlets under the NEIPDA across the north-eastern region will remain closed on Friday as the association has chose to support the strike call given by UPF seeking fulfilment of pending demands ignored by the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) since an agreement was signed last November.
All the three constituents of the United Petroleum Front (UPF) have called off the proposed all India strike planned for Oct 13 and Oct 27. On Tuesday, state-run oil marketers said they are baffled by the move as nearly all their demands have already been met but warned that being an Esma subject they may approach the states to scuttle the strike.
For quite some time, the dealers are demanding inclusion of petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum control about 54,000 petrol pumps across the country, or more than 90% of the fuel retailing market.
While the oil companies did appeal for calling off the strike, they also warned petrol pump operators of strict action, including facing the prospect of cancellation of dealership contract.
Indian Oil's marketing director B S Canth said dealer commission was also hiked in November 2016 and March 2017. We came to know about it in the media.
The dealers' withdrawal comes after the government took a tough stand on Tuesday, saying it is not going to back down on the new marketing discipline guidelines. "In case we feel there may be some disruption, we will approach the state governments concerned and seek their intervention to ensure the public is not inconvenienced". The demands include upward revision of the dealer margins every six months, better terms for return on investment, resolution of manpower issues, a fresh study of handling losses, and resolution of issues related to transportation and ethanol blending.
According to the OMCs, certain dealers have managed to manipulate the vending machines at the petrol pumps that were sealed by Weights & Measure Department (W&MD) and cheat the consumers.
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