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Oil ministry red-flags ‘Sunday Closed’ move of petrol pump operators

LiveMint logoLiveMint 20-04-2017 PTI

New Delhi: The oil ministry has denounced the decision of some petrol pump operators to keep outlets closed on Sundays, saying such a move will be of inconvenience to the public.

“@PetroleumMin neither endorses nor approves of move by a small section of dealers to keep their petrol pumps closed on Sundays,” the ministry said in a series of tweets. Such closure, the ministry said, “by a small section of dealers will lead to inconvenience for the general public”.

The tweets, which were retweeted by oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, also stated that major dealer associations are not participating in the closure.

“Major dealers’ federations have clarified that they don’t endorse any closure of petrol pumps on any day,” the oil ministry tweeted.

On the issue of Modi’s slogan, the ministry said, “The Prime Minister in #MannKiBaat appealed to People of India not to use fuel once a week and not to dealers to close their pumps on Sundays.”

The All India Petroleum Dealers Association, which claims to represent 80% of the 53,224 petrol pumps of public sector oil companies, has said not participating in the closure exercise. The association’s president Ajay Bansal said not participating in the closure.

A few petrol pump associations had called for petrol pumps to remain shut on Sundays in eight states following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to cut down on fuel consumption.

Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, parts of Karnataka—mostly around Bengaluru—and some areas of Maharashtra, especially Mumbai, may see petrol pump owners down their shutters on Sundays beginning 14 May to press for higher commission on petrol and diesel they sell.

“Our members in 22 states are not going on any protests,” he clarified, adding that the association has called a meeting of the general body in the next few weeks to discuss the agreement PSU oil companies had signed with it in November last year to consider their demand for raising fuel margins.

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