Petrol bunks in seven states and the union territory of Puducherry will remain shut on Sundays beginning 14 May as dealers pitch in to save both fuel and foreign exchange following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call, fuel pump owners' body said in Chennai on Tuesday.
In a series of tweets, the petroleum ministry said such closure of petrol pumps by a small section of dealers will lead to inconvenience to general public.
Ravi Shinde, president of the Mumbai Petrol Dealers' Association has said that all those operated by dealers will be closed on Sundays. There around 4,500 petrol pumps across the state, out of which 2,500 are along highways. "So those who buy diesel or petrol a day in advance will have no problems".
The dealer commission on petrol is Rs 2.56 per litre and Rs 1.65 for diesel now.
"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. "We would like to wait and watch how the situation pans out. This is not a practical solution for anything", said Valakallil.
"While exact figures are not available for sales on Sundays, it will be around 20 per cent less." said KP Murali, the president of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association.
"On an average the daily sales of fuel is for around Rs 153 crore".
The decision will also be communicated to the oil supplying companies soon, he said almost 20,000 outlets will be closed on the holiday.
He also said that dealers are within their rights to declare Sunday as a holiday and that they had been paying employees double wages. "They will definitely face hardships or will have to reconsider their plans for the weekend if they suddenly discover that there is not enough petrol or diesel in their vehicles".
The petrol pump owners also plan to mark May 10 (Wednesday) as a "No Purchase Day" before they start closing down on Sundays from May 14 onward. On the issue of OMCs hiking the margins to petroleum outlets, he said the association was discussing it and would soon make an announcement in this regard.