Visakhapatnam: Petrol dealers to shut bunks

Visakhapatnam: Ignoring threats by oil companies, more than 250 petrol bunks across Vizag city and district will take part in the ‘no purchase, no sales’ nation-wide protest called by petroleum dealers of public sector oil companies on October 13. 

Owners of petrol bunks in Vizag city say they will shut down the fuel pumps from October 12 midnight to October 13 midnight to press their demands including better margins and inclusion of petroleum products in the Goods and Services Tax (GST). 

Talking to newsmen here on Tuesday, president of Vizag Petrol Dealers' Association M. Narayana Reddy said some sales officers from the oil companies have warned the dealers in the city against taking part in the strike. “However, we have decided to observe one day bandh on October 13. The fuel prices in Andhra Pradesh are higher than the neighbouring states due to various taxes,” he said and added that the decision to keep petrol and diesel out of GST had resulted in a huge disparity in the price of fuel in different States. With VAT on fuels relatively higher in Andhra Pradesh, truckers opt to purchase fuel from neighbouring states.

Speaking of the recent changes in the guidelines, Mr Narayana Reddy said they will be able to pay higher wages to the staff and create better facilities for motorists if oil companies raise the commission paid to dealers. It is not easy to store enough water at the petrol bunks for maintaining toilets and also to keep them clean at retail outlets. 

Mr Narayana Reddy added that they will go for indefinite strike from October 27 if the government failed to address their demands. 

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