While at one end, oil dealers across the country are gearing up to strike against the amendments in marketing discipline guidelines, the Maharashtra government has cut value added tax (VAT) on petrol as well as diesel, a week after the Centre took the plunge.
Petrol in the state will be cheaper by Rs 2 and diesel by Re 1 per litre from Tuesday midnight. The move follows Central government which cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 last week.
Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) on the other hand have taken a firm stand against the strike planned by dealers on October 13, stating it totally unreasonable. Dealers are protesting the marketing discipline guidelines amended by the oil marketing companies that have made penal action stringent for offences involving short delivery of products, operating automated retail units on manual mode and improper maintenance of toilets.
"There needs to be a reason for their (dealers) demand.
We are not going to negotiate on the guidelines given out on October 2," said Balwinder Singh Canth, director (marketing) at Indian Oil told reporters at a conference held here today. He was speaking to the press in view of the All India Strike called by the Petroleum Dealers Federation later this week.
However, the changes, have not gone down well with the dealer's community which is still not too happy for switching over to a daily fuel pricing system from fortnight previously.
"Our guidelines are in the interest of the consumer and we will not put public into inconvenience during this festive season," informed Canth, who clarified that about 1,000 Company-Owned-Company-Operated (COCO) outlets of all OMCs put together will have products available in order to ensure that there is no shortage of supply in coming week.
Regarding concerns expressed by dealers towards the home delivery of fuel to consumers, OMCs said that in the consumer's interest, it would be undertaken only after approval from Petroleum Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) is received and safety precautions are put in place.