The Petroleum dealers under the banner of All-Kerala Federation of Petroleum Traders will go on strike from July 16 and 17 in the state in protest against the Indian Oil Corporation’s decision to set up 600 more petrol pumps in the state.
Federation president Alex Vallakkalil told a news conference here on Thursday that the petrol and diesel pumps in the state would remain closed on July 16 and 17. He said that the state already had over 2,000 pumps, which were facing severe crisis.
The oil companies are falling into loss as there is no scientific basis in allotting the pumps and selecting the locations, he said. Alex also pointed out that the Central Petroleum Ministry had given instructions to the oil companies not to spent money on opening new pumps as there had already been enough pumps in the state.
He said that many of the new pumps opened by various oil companies were in loss owing to lack of business. To set up a pump, the oil companies have to spend around Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore. The competition between the oil companies also lead to the opening of new pumps.
He said that in view of the large number of the oil companies, which could even pose security threat to the people, the State government had brought out certain regulations.
The Indian Institute of Management (Ahamedabad) has found that it requires at least a sale of 1.30 lakh litre of fuel a month to make the pumps profitable. But the oil companies are misleading the prospective dealers by convincing them that it requires only a sale of 45,000 litre per month.
He said that the Indian Oil Corporation should withdraw from the move to open 600 new pumps in the state.
The Federation is also raising the demands such as implementation of the Apoorvachandra Committee report.