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Daily fuel prices rolled out, but dealers unhappy, shut shop in Karnataka

At least 1000 petrol pumps across 7 districts in Karnataka has shut shop protesting against the move

Shine Jacob  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Shutterstock
Representational image. Photo: Shutterstock

At least 1,000 motor fuel outlets in seven districts of shut shop on Friday, in protest at the launch of daily price revision by the Centr’s three oil marketing companies (OMCs).

The strike was despite fuel dealer associations deciding to cancel the planned national strike on the issue, after talks with Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan. “The move (daily revision) will wipe out the entire margins of marginal dealers. While the claim 95 per cent of retail outlets are automated, only five per cent are,” said Ranjith Hegde, secretary, Mysore Petroleum Traders Association.

All the major associations had called off their strike plans after the Union government assured an increase in dealer commission from next month. A official from told Business Standard, “The rollout of daily pricing was done smoothly and there is no disruption.” Pradhan had assured the dealers that automation of would happen as soon as possible and a committee on the subject was to give a report on this within a month. “Daily pricing will wipe out the margins for small dealers, who sell in the range of 200kl. We are waiting for 15 days to see the results and then take a call on future action,” said B T Ram Kumar, joint secretary of the Consortium of India Petroleum Dealers.

A fine of Rs 5 lakh and suspension of sales and supplies for 60 days is what the guidelines say for not operating a fuel station in automation mode or making automation dysfunctional, said a representative from the Delhi Dealers Association.

Before taking the decision of daily revision nationally, the three had conducted a 40-day experimental run in five cities — Chandigarh, Jamshedpur, Puducherry, Udaipur, and Visakhapatnam. Of the 59,595 fuel retail outlets in India, close to 54,000 belong to the three These being IOC, and