Updated 30 May 2022, 10:12 am
The Manipur Petroleum Dealers' Association has resolved to support the protest against oil companies in association with the North East Petroleum Dealers' Association (NEPDA).
The NEPDA had announced to carry out a ‘No purchase of fuel on May 31’ in memorandum submitted to all the oil marketing companies on Saturday.
Speaking at a press meet held on Sunday at Uripok oil pump, Manipur Petroleum Dealers' Association member RK Prakash said that the decision to carry out ‘no purchase’ protest on May 31 was against oil marketing companies.
The association will ensure that no inconvenience is caused to consumers and petrol pumps will remain open, he said.
Appreciating the reduction in prices of petroleum products to keep citizens as well as dealers protected to a great extent from heavy crude price at the international level, he said: “It is a matter of record that the dealers’ commission or margin has no enhancement since 2017".
Prakash said "the price of fuel has doubled and the investment or expenditure incurred by dealers has increased manifold”.
The dealers earn the same profit irrespective of price increase and have been incurring heavy capital losses whenever such irrational huge amounts of tax are reduced overnight affecting Retail Selling Price (RSP), including the mandatory stock which the dealer must maintain as per company requirements, he said.
Prakash further said that another issue that has been of great concern to the trade is reduction of excise duty.
The sudden drastic reduction in prices of petroleum products because of excise is more damaging than the rate of fluctuations caused due to changing international crude prices, he said.
Since 2017, excise duty has increased on three occasions out of eight and that too without any changes in RSP of fuel, thus passing on the benefit of this increase to the oil marketing companies only and not the dealers, he mentioned.
Sudden drastic reduction in price resulted in downward revision in RSP, resulting in huge financial losses only to the dealers, thereby eroding their working capital thus increasing their bank liabilities, Prakash said.
The loss incurred by dealers escalated as both the reductions were done just before the commencement of holiday or weekend when the stocks were at maximum in the RSP, a fact known to all, he mentioned.
Reduction of price does not incur any loss to the oil marketing corporations but loss to the dealers, said Prakash.
On account of the second sudden huge reduction in Central Excise Duty and state Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol (9. 50 INR) and diesel (7.00 INR) on May 22 by the Central government as well as the state government, the dealers of petroleum products in Manipur incurred losses, Prakash informed.
The dealers have paid excise duty and state VAT taxes while purchasing the petroleum products from oil companies, and that amount was supposed to be collected from the consumers, he said. However, the dealers are unable to collect it since the RSP was dropped effective the next day, he added.
In the state like Manipur, most of the petrol pumps are low selling in volume with a small working capital as their monthly average sales are below 100KL per month. Such a huge decrease in taxes (affecting the RSP) in one night has caused a major downfall in the petroleum business sector across the entire state, Prakash said.
Prakash further clarified that the general public assumption is dealers earn more profit whenever the RSP increases but in reality, the dealers end up investing more capital as rate increases without any profit margin for large capital because of fixed commission rate since 2017; and no revision of dealer commission rate has been considered till date.
Manipur Petroleum Dealers Association appealed to the government “not to take such an irrational decision of reducing (huge amount) the RSP at once.” Instead, the government should follow the process of gradual increment in price, it stated.
It may be mentioned that the rate of petrol was Rs 99.69 and diesel Rs 84.19 after reduction in the month of November 2021, and increased up to Rs 110.14 for petrol and Rs 93.13 for diesel until it was reduced to Rs 101.05 for petrol and Rs 87.05 for diesel on May 22, 2022.
First published:29 May 2022, 3:57 pm
fuel pricespetroleum productsNorth East Petroleum Dealers' Associationoil marketing companiesManipur Petroleum Dealers' Association
IFP Reporter, IMPHAL, Manipur