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
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.