Petrol pump owners in the country have threatened to go on strike on August 31 if their 5-point demands, including raising their sales’ commissions, are not met within next 7 days.
Addressing a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) auditorium in the city, the leaders of Bangladesh Dealers, Distributors, Agents and Petrol Pump Owners Association said that they have no option but to shut the filling stations as their commission on sales have declined to one percent from previous over 4 per cent.
President of the organization Mohammad Nazmul Haque placed the demands in a written statement at the press conference.
According to the statement, if the demands are not met within seven days, the organisation will observe a token strike from early morning to 11 am on August 31.
“Even then, if the demands are not met, we will go on a continuous strike programme,| said Nazmul Haque.
He said that the filling station owners could have created stalemate in the country if they had wanted.
“But we didn’t do that. Now we’re announcing programme like strike as our backs have been pushed against the wall”, he added.
Nazmul Haque claimed that in 2013, they used to get 4.75 percent commission on the sales of octane and petrol while 3.22 percent commission on diesel sale.
Now this commission has reduced to about 1 per cent, he said adding now they want their commission to be raised to 7 per cent.
Other demands of the petrol pump owners include conducting regular operations to prevent oil rigging; ensuring presence of representatives from Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) or fuel marketing companies during the drive against sales of substandard products; fixing fee at a reasonable rate in the lease from Roads and Highways Department; stopping police harassment in the name of checking documents of tank-lorries during fuel transportation.
Nazmul Haque said they are not against the government’s drive against the pilferage in oil measurement.
“We’re ready to cooperate with the government in this regard”, he said adding, some people can manipulate the measurements in selling the products because of the lower commission on fuel sales.
Secretary General of the organisation Zubair Ahmed Chowdhury, Senior Vice President Haroon Or Rashid, Joint Secretary General Mir Ahsan Uddin and other leaders were present in the press conference.