Chandigarh: About 2,800 petrol pumps in Punjab will operate for eight hours between 8 AM and 5 PM, Petroleum Dealers' Association on Monday said.
This decision, which has been made effective from Monday, was taken to put pressure on the Centre to hike the commission of petroleum dealers, said pump owners.
"From Monday onwards, we will run our fuel pumps from 8 am in the morning till 5 PM (including lunch hour) instead of 6 AM till 11 PM. This decision has been taken by our parent body Confederation of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD)," Punjab Petroleum Dealers' Association, President J P Khanna said.
About 2,800 fuel pumps located on highway and in urban areas in Punjab will observe new timings, he added.
The decision to run pumps for a shorter duration is also being implemented in various states including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra etc, dealers said.
Fuel pump owners have been demanding hike in their commission on petrol and diesel as they say it has become unviable to run petrol pumps at current commission rates, Khanna said.
"By reducing our working time, we will be able to cut down our operational cost like on wages, power etc, though there may not be significant drop in sales," he said.
Pump owners, however, have been asked not to say no to consumers who are standing in queue when the time has come to close down the pump, he added.
Currently, fuel pump owners are getting Rs 1.49 per litre on petrol and 0.91 paise a litre on diesel, he said adding that the commission rates had not been revised since July 2011 even as fuel rates had gone up considerably.
Khanna said that they had been offered a hike of 0.30 paise litre hike in petrol and 0.15 paise increase in diesel but this proposal was not unacceptable.
Fuel pump owners have been seeking commission be based on price of fuel rather than the quantity of fuel sold.