The North East India Petroleum Dealers Association (NEIPDA) has announced a “no purchase” protest in Guwahati on Tuesday, May 31, in a move that is likely to affect both private and commercial transport in the city and across the region. The nature of the protest means that while retail fuel pumps will remain open, they will eventually run out of fuel and not have enough to meet consumer demands.
In a memorandum addressed to Oil Marketing Companies, NEIPDA president Rajib Goswami said petroleum dealers are seeking intervention on two vital issues. First, the association is demanding an enhancement of the dealers’ margin, which is the amount of money fuel pump owners make per litre of petrol or diesel sold. Goswami said that while the price of fuel has been hiked many times over the last years, the dealers’ margin has stayed constant since 2017. This although the investment and expenditure of petrol pump owners have increased manifold in the same period, Goswami said.
Secondly, NEIPDA said it objects to the fact that while Excise duty on fuel has increased several times since 2017, there has been no proportional change to the retail sale price of fuel, thereby passing on the entire benefit of Excise duty hikes to Oil Marketing Companies and not to the dealers.
The NEIPDA has also forwarded a copy of the memorandum and its intention to hold a ‘no purchase’ protest on Tuesday to the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner’s office.