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Petroleum dealers to restrict business hours

N. Ravi Kumar and S. Sundar


To a maximum of 12 hours a day and six days a week

The idea is to save expenditure, especially on power


CHENNAI/MADURAI: Petroleum dealers of national oil marketing companies in the State have resolved to restrict the working hours of their outlets to a maximum of 12 hours a day and six days a week.

A decision to this effect, aimed at reducing their expenditure, particularly on electricity, was taken at a meeting of the Tamilnadu Petroleum Dealers’ Association on Thursday.

A majority of the dealers in city/town limits favoured functioning from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Highway dealers, however, wanted a different set of working hours, association president M. Kannan, who chaired the meeting in Madurai, told The Hindu over telephone.

A decision on the time, weekly off and the date from which the proposal would come in to force was left to the respective district petroleum dealers associations. Apart from the members of the association’s executive committee, Thursday’s meeting was attended by special invitees and members of the Madurai and neighbouring districts association.

Reiterating that the dealers should not be compelled to increase their offtake of branded fuels, Mr.Kannan said the meeting resolved to urge the companies to maintain this month the same level of supplies as they did in June last year. After the June 5 increase in the fuel prices, many of the outlets were reporting panic buying by customers. Otherwise, the sales of the outlets were on the decline.

Another resolution decided against sale of the fuels, particularly petrol, below one litre or for amounts below Rs.50.

The dealers also wanted the companies to adopt a separate colour code for premium fuel-dispensing units and make prior public announcement before increasing the price of branded fuels and lubricants.

Talking to reporters in Madurai, he said that the executive committee resolved to urge the companies to supply fuel according to the order placed by the dealers. Premium products used to constitute around 17 per cent of the total quantity of petrol and diesel supplied to the dealers. “But, of late, the companies are forcing us to take premium products up to 50 per cent of the total supply,” Mr. Kannan said.

Allegation denied

Though the companies have denied the dealers’ allegation, the association would seek details of petroleum products supplied by them this month using the Right to Information Act, said A.R. Damodaran, former president of the association.

The companies should not insist on outlets with only an underground tank each for petrol and diesel to take the branded fuels, association secretary SP. Kumarappan said.

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