Dealers in Tamil Nadu feel heat due to fuel price rise | Chennai News

CHENNAI: The increase in fuel prices has not only affected the end customers, but also made it tough for the dealers as several of them have borrowed money for their business and operating costs have increased over time.
About 25 % of dealers in Tamil Nadu having fuel outlets might shut shop due to adversities in business caused as a result of the pandemic and rising fuel rates and it is high time that the central government intervenes and restructure the dealers margin’ as demanded by the dealers, said Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association (TNPDA).
As fuel prices continue to soar across the country, Chennai too recorded an all time high this year, with petrol prices touching 96.23 per litre on Friday, just four rupees short of 100. Diesel was sold at 90.38 per litre.
“Due to insufficient dealer margin, retail outlet dealers cannot meet the overheads with meagre margin, and are forced to avail bank loan for survival,” K P Murali, president, TNPDA said and pointed out that in the last one year, 40 dealers have succumbed to Covid and have left behind huge amount of loan along with other liablities.
In retail outlet trade, dealers get a fixed margin per litre which is pre-fixed by the ministry of petroleum. TNPDA stated the Apoorva Chandra Committee, formed to study all aspects of the trade has recommended in 2017 various aspects, of which periodical revision (every six months) of dealer margin was an integral aspect and this has not been implemented till date.
“In the absence of revision of dealer margin since 2017 and additional overheads, the percentage of expenses have crossed 120 % and dealers are dependent on bank loans,” Murali said.
The TNPDA has also already requested the Tamil Nadu government to declare dealers, retail outlet staff, fuel tanker crew to be declared as frontline warriors, which would enable the community to avail benefits from governments from oil companies. K P Murali pointed out that fuel outlets have been in operation throughout the pandemic, despite less than optimal sales and also requested the governments to ensure that they and their staff are vaccinated along with frontline workers.

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