According to a UPF spokesperson, the dealers’ association has withdrawn its call for a 24-hour strike of fuel pumps on Friday. UPF represents over 54,000 dealers from the Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders, the All-India Petroleum Dealers Association and the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers.
The dealers are protesting marketing guidelines amended by public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs), which introduce stringent penal action for offences involving short delivery of products, operating automated retail units on manual mode and improper maintenance of toilets.
The are also demanding inclusion of petroleum products under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and other long pending issues.
The UPF had warned that if their demands were not met at the earliest, dealers will be forced to indefinitely stop sale and purchase operations from October 27.
The dealers’ withdrawal comes after the government took a tough stand on Tuesday, saying it is not going to back down on the new marketing discipline guidelines.
“There needs to be a reason for the dealers’ demand. We are not going to negotiate on the guidelines given out on October 2,” Indian Oil Director (Marketing) Balwinder Singh Canth told reporters here on the sidelines of the first CERAWEEK India Energy Forum.
Canth also said that about 1,000 company-owned-company-operated (COCO) outlets of the three OMCs will have products available in order to ensure there is no shortage of supplies in the coming week.