The threat by petroleum dealers to shut down pumps on Sundays will be dealt with according to measures necessary to maintain supplies of essential commodities, the Centre said on Wednesday. “We have just now been made aware of this decision by the petroleum dealers through media reports,” a senior Petroleum Ministry source said when queried about the dealers’ decision to shut fuel bunks every Sunday starting May 14 to protest the public sector oil companies’ failure to hike dealer margins.
The decision will cover Haryana, Maharashtra and the entire southern region — Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala as well as Puducherry.
“We have to wait and see how this measure impacts on the ground… because petroleum products are classed essential commodities and the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) can be applied depending on the circumastances,” the source said.
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Dealers’ body representatives told the media on Tuesday that their decision was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent call to save petrol and diesel.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was in Jaipur on Tuesday to witness the MoU signing for construction of a refinery in Rajasthan by state-run Hindustan Petroleum, is expected to assess the possible fallout of the dealers’ decision here on Wednesday.