Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam: With the daily revision of fuel prices beginning on Friday, petrol pump owners are in a tizzy trying to figure out the logistics.
They had some relief when oil marketing companies changed the price announcement timings from 12 midnight to 6 am, as this would allow them to function with existing staff instead of employing more manpower for the night.
They are now anticipating a chaotic situation during the morning rush hours.
A consortium of petroleum dealers joint secretary Rajiv Amaram said, “Both manual outlets and automatic outlets will face a chaotic situation. It takes at least an hour to change the price and the dealer has to go to each pump as the password will be with him. We are not opposing this daily price system but the implementation is a tough job. Sales for an hour would be stopped while changing the pricing. Customers will have to wait. In non automated pumps, customers will have to wait long hours.”
The dynamic pricing policy was devised because global prices fluctuate and the government is keen to pass on the slightest benefit from this to the customer.
The new system was tested in five cities since May 1and has been quite a success, according to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.
Agreement reached but doubters not satisfied
As the fuel dealers association called off their protest against the daily revision of fuel prices, cost of petrol and diesel is all set to start changing every day across the country from June 16.
The trial run for daily pricing of fuel has been going on in Vizag with the other cities from May 1. However, the price will be revised at 6 am every day unlike it was done in midnight in Vizag.
Though the Vizag Petrol Dealers’ Association resented the move citing various difficulties in management of logistics and inventories, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) decided to introduce the new daily regime after talks with the All India Petroleum Dealers Association.
The dealers rued that their difficulties and proposals were not taken into consideration. However, the OMCs have decided to revise the price from morning 6 am as petrol bunks were forced to engage additional staff to make the changes at midnight and it was leading to chaos with the price being issued at around 8.30 pm.
At the automated petrol bunks, price per unit of the dispensing units gets changed automatically from the central server of the respective OMCs.
Consumers need to be cautious about price at bunks that change prices manually. Both consumers and dealers can check the daily prices that will be communicated by four modes.
These include customised SMSs, e-Mails, mobile app and web portal.
Vizag Petrol Dealers Association president T Narayana Reddy reiterated that the decision would only lead to confusion among the dealers and consumers and would benefit none. “The government says the move is aimed at synching the price with international market. The price, after refining, remains around `20. How does the price reflect the global price?” he asked.