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The strike call is unjustified: Chairman, Indian Oil

Sanjiv Singh, chairman of the country's largest retailer Indian Oil has said that the ‘strike call is unjustified’ since the marketing guidelines have been worked out after careful consideration of all aspects of fuel retail business.

To the threat by the front of an indefinite strike from October 27 if their demands are not met, the state-run fuel retailers have responded with a warning of strict action which includes the prospect of cancellation of dealership contract.

Several associations of petrol pump owners oppose the new Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDGs) imposed by the PSUs and they also demand that the sale of fuel must be brought under GST.

The senior executives of Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation have pointed out that the new marketing guidelines are meant to improve the quality of service at petrol pumps.

The real reason for the strike seems to be the penalties for violation of service rules for pumps specified in the MDG.

For short delivery, that is, delivering less than the intended quantity to a customer by manipulating its measures or by turning off the automated reporting system, the pump owner can be fined between Rs 25,000 and Rs 2 lakh. And the new guidelines state that the repeat offenders will be made to shut down their pumps.

There are provisions for fines ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000 for failure to provide clean toilet facility. Fines are also stipulated for non-payment of wages and benefits as per government norms.

“These are measures that help the public, and pumps that comply with these quality guidelines have no reason to fear,” Ramesh Director (Marketing), BPCL.said

“If there is a commitment to providing a service, you have to provide it. You (dealers) are being paid for these (services and salary) in the cost (of fuel) and must pass on the benefit to the intended recipients (consumers and employees), “ Hindustan Petroleum chairman M K Surana has remarked.

“The question of whether petrol and diesel should come under GST is up to the GST Council to decide, not us,” said S Ramesh.

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