Petrol dealers strike called off

An official from Hindustan Petroleum said in a statement, "All the three constituents of the United Petroleum Front (UPF) have called off the proposed all-India strike planned for 13th and 27th October 2017".

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 made a decision 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. More than 54,000 petrol pumps across the country would have remain shut if the strike went through but the latest development suggests that it's not going to happen now.

The dealers are demanding revision in their margin every six months and brining fuels under Goods and Services Tax (GST).

According to OMCs, the main grudge of fuel retailers is a recent amendment made in the Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG), which gives the companies powers to impose a penalty of up to Rs2 lakh and suspension of dealership in cases where dealers are found to have deliberately tampered with the machinery to cheat consumers.

The scheduled strike was to press for long-pending demands ignored by the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) since an agreement was signed last November, news agency PTI reported. S Ramesh, BPCL director (marketing), said even if there was a strike this Friday, it will not be "total". Also this is not a professional way of calling a strike. "These are for the benefit of the public", Canth said, adding "we still hope they won't go ahead with the strike". Besides, there are demands too for which the dealers are raising voice.

The new guidelines also direct dealers to pay minimum wages as notified by the OMCs, while salaries now have be paid through e-payment only. Hoping that the strike may not happen, OMC officials said luckily hundreds of dealers are coming onto social media saying they are not joining the strike.