Covid-19: Distributors Seek Relief by Keeping Gas Pumps Open at Shutdown

NEW DELHI: Gasoline pump operators have sought financial relief to compensate them for losing money by keeping retail outlets open, even when there is almost no business and the loss of fuel stocks at idle due to evaporation.

In a letter to the marketing directors of state-run fuel retail companies Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL, President of the Association of Petroleum Distributors of India, Ajay Bansal, said distributors earn commissions for every liter they sell. , which means that the less they sell, the more they lose. .

“The dealer's margin is Rs 27,500 per month at a national average monthly sale of 170 kiloliters (kl) per outlet (before closing), which has fallen to l kl per month due to the closing. This is resulting in huge operating losses, he said.

He said that although the pumps operate with fewer employees, there are certain fixed costs for the fixed charge for the power connection, the salary, the bank and the sealing charges not reduced in proportion to lower sales.

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There are also large losses due to increased evaporation from the fuel stock found in tanks for longer periods in the absence of sale.

They seek remedial action through a higher commission and subsidy on staff salaries and other costs. “Distributors have paid salaries for March on the advice of the government and want to continue doing the same, but for how long? We would be suffering huge losses until sales return, said Bansal.