Oil Ministry condones petroleum dealers' decision to close petrol pumps on Sundays

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The primary hope was to arm-twist oil companies into shelling out the higher commission, and secondly, it wants to respond to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to conserve petroleum products which are on the edge.

"Our members in 22 states are not going on any protests", he clarified, adding that the association has called a meeting of the general body in the next few weeks to discuss the agreement PSU oil companies had signed with it in November past year to consider their demand for raising fuel margins. "So we have chose to declare a holiday on Sundays as it will save fuel and foreign exchange", KP Murali, president of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers' Association, said.

Annually, the average sale of petrol and diesel in the State is estimated to be Rs. 56,000 crore and Rs. 153 crore per day.

Kerala petroleum traders do not appear to be pleased about reports that they have to close their fuel retail outlets on all Sundays starting from May 14. So we have chose to declare a holiday on Sundays as it will save fuel and foreign exchange. "So if we close down for a day, there is a gain for us too", Radhakrishnan said, and added that they will meet again to take the final call.

Murali said the Sunday-holiday decision will save around 20 per cent fuel burned in the country. Meanwhile, Telangana Petroleum Dealers Association president Rajiv Amram said the association would meet on Wednesday to discuss the implications of the move. However, oil marketing companies (OMCs) had requested the owner body to reconsider its decision.

"@PetroleumMin neither endorses nor approves of move by a small section of dealers to keep their petrol pumps closed on Sundays", the ministry said in a series of tweets. "All these days we have been functioning paying workers double wages".

In order to tackle emergency situations, one staff member will be available at every fuel pump.