From the second week of May, you might need to fuel up your tanks on Saturdays if you live in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Haryana. Nearly 20000 fuel outlets in these States will remain closed for 24 hours on Sundays, starting from May 14th.
This decision has been taken by the Consortium of Indian Petroleum dealers on the basis of two arguments. One being, fuel station owners adhering to PM’s ‘Man Ki Baat’ address where he urged the nation to use less fuel. And so, petrol pump owners decided to shut down once a week to reduce harm done to the environment. The second being that petrol pump owners want their dealer margins increased. According to them, the petrol and diesel business is not as profitable any more as it was in the past.
But these arguments don’t really make sense for a common man as any vehicle owner including a taxi driver would fill up their fuel tanks a day before if they know that petrol pumps will be shut the next day. When demonetisation was announced, the dealers protested because they did not want to be charged the merchant discount rate (MDR). But as the number of credit/ debit card users increased, the percent of MDR claimed was higher than the margins on fuel prices.