Recently there was a threat from fuel pump owners to keep their outlets shut on Sundays from May, unless they were given higher margins.
According to the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, the move was to save fuel and foreign exchange.
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"Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked people to contribute to fuel reduction in his first Mann Ki Baat [on All India Radio] and that has inspired us", the Association President said.
Almost 25,000 outlets in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Haryana would be shut for 24 hours on Sundays, starting May 14. "On an average, the per day sales of fuel is for around Rs 153 crore". Thus around 20,000 outlets will remain closed on Sundays. "There were around 4,850 outlets selling petrol and diesel in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone". "The Sunday-holiday decision will save around 20 per cent fuel burned in the country". The move is being taken to create pressure on the oil marketing companies to hike dealers margin. "We are within our right to declare Sunday a holiday. All these days we have been functioning paying workers double wages". Kumar said the fuel outlets which normally have about 15 staff each would have one staff member on the holidays to provide fuel if there was an emergency situation.
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"Major dealers' federations have clarified that they don't endorse any closure of petrol pumps on any day", the oil ministry tweeted. A meeting of all India petroleum dealers association will be held on May 6 in which all this matter will be discussed and suitable decision taken, Vishwas said reiterating that no decision will be taken that will harm or inconvenience the general public. However, more or less this appears bit typical, from May 14th of this year, petrol pump dealers in seven states and Puducherry will shut shop on Sundays, it was announced on Tuesday.
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