Petrol pumps owners on warpath in Punjab; announces to work in single shift from Nov 7
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Daily increase and higher petrol and diesel price in Punjab as compared to neighbouring states-Haryana HP, Chandigarh is not only impacting the consumers but also proving as a stumbling block for many petrol pumps as their sustenance is at stake because sales volume has gone down drastically “ said Monty Sehgal , who has closed his petrol pump due to increasing losses, a week ago.
“Petrol pumps across Punjab would be open for 15 days from November 7 to November 21 from 7 am to 5 pm only that is in single shift only, to curtail our expenses. If no solution is found in these 15 days, a one-day strike on November 22 will determine the next course of action.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association held at Ludhiana, as government of Punjab, oil marketing companies and the Union ministry failed to give ear to calls of the Petrol Pump Dealers Association Punjab to work for price correction and increase margins to cover up losses
Fuel pump dealers said their businesses had been adversely affected due to the disparity in retail prices of petroleum products on account of the high rate of value added tax on petrol and diesel.
Moreover, due to the lockdown during the COVID pandemic petrol pumps have witnessed a huge drop in sales which has resulted in heavy burden on dealers due to the components of fixed expenses being higher.
“In 2008 the petrol prices were 54 /- ltr . In 2020 its 74/- ltr. Now in October 2021 petrol price touches 110/- in Punjab. In 18 months the petrol prices has increased to around 38/- per ltr. The crux of this is that fuel prices has increased drastically, but the margin of petrol pump dealer remained the same i.e Rs 3/- per ltr on petrol and Rs 2/- per ltr on diesel. Due to disparity in the fuel prices as compared to neighbouring states, high VAT , opening of new fuel pumps, petrol pump owners are feeling the heat as the sale, margin has been decreased. Due to COVID, petrol pumps has lost the volume, sale. They are bearing that loses also. Till last year a person gets 28-29 ltrs of petrol in Rs 2000/- . The consumer now gets 18-19 ltrs in 2000/-. The consumer has its own limitations. We lost our sale but the amount remained the same” said Sehgal.
As compared to Punjab, the VAT on petrol and diesel in neighbouring states such as J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and UT of Chandigarh is lower and people living in the border districts prefer to purchase fuel where the rates are low. With sales being shifted to other states, hundreds of petrol pumps in border districts of Mohali, Rupnagar, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Sangrur, Patiala, Mansa, Bathinda and Fatehgarh Sahib are running into heavy losses and on the verge of closure.
As per information “G.S. Chawla, one of the petrol pump owner has ended his life succumbing to the pressure of loss of volume due to price difference and huge revenue losses amid COVID-19, in July 2021.”