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Petrol pumps to remain closed in Guwahati for 24-hours on May 13

According to a statement released by North East India Petroleum Dealers Association on May 12, the bandh will be observed from 5 am on May 13 to 5 am on May 14.

Our Correspondent

GUWAHATI:

Alleging unlawful trade practices being followed by oil companies in collusion with transporters for delivery of fuel, the North East India Petroleum Dealers Association (NEIPDA) has called for a 24-hour petrol pump bandh in Greater Guwahati area.

According to a statement released by the association on May 12, the bandh will be observed from 5 am on May 13 to 5 am on May 14.

The union also demanded a probe into the corrupt “short delivery” system of products to the retail outlets by oil companies.

The Greater Guwahati Unit (GGU) of NEIPDA president Rajib Goswami and general secretary Dwijen Mahanta said the association may extend the bandh for an indefinite period from May 15 if the matter is not settled by the oil companies immediately.

“It has become difficult for the petrol pumps to carry on retail trade of petroleum products due to unlawful trade practices which are going on in violation of prescribed norms and are outside the purview of any disciplinary guidance that is operative in the trade,” the statement read.

The statement further said that as per the contract with the oil companies, the transporters provide the tank truck (TT) to the oil company at a rate fixed based on the tender floated by the company and the concerned oil company assigns the TT the load to be delivered to the particular retail outlet who submits indent. The dealer has no role to play in the process of delivering the products.

“The responsibility of the dealer is to issue the indent to oil companies and in turn, it is the responsibility of the oil companies to supply the indented product to the dealer at the doorstep,” they said.

The NEIPDA also said that paying salaries, perks and other benefits to the driver and the helper of the tank truck is also the responsibility of the transporters. The owners of the petrol pumps are no way connected to the issue.

In the event of cancellation of load, the oil company has to clarify the reason for it. “That being the normal practice, the transporter does not have the choice or option to cancel and refuse load once assigned by the oil company making the oil company solely responsible as per the contract and the tender condition,” the NEIDPA’s statement added.

The association asked what disciplinary action has been initiated against the transporter, and oil company officials when the load is cancelled whimsically without assigning any reason. It also questioned how many vehicles under the contract with oil companies have been blacklisted and terminated so far.

The statement further stated that it has a major financial loss due to drying out of its underground tanks. The anomaly can be curbed if automation is complete as admitted by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Assam Oil Division (AOD)

Taking note of the malpractices the association has demanded a high-level independent vigilance inquiry as it has siphoned off the hard-earned money of taxpayers. The revenue generated from the short delivery of products is on a large scale and has been misused by some individual groups.

They said that the short delivery at the retail outlet is recorded as NIL in the system which does not portray the actual scenario.

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