Ever since the pandemic led lockdowns began during Mar. ‘20, one of the worst affected industries is Mobility. Not just fuel, even sales of vehicles has been severely impacted. Those who own associated businesses such as Repair Garages, vehicle care, tyres and spare parts have been jolted with the low consumption & usage of vehicles.
One of the biggest impacts of this outcome is Fuel Stations are severely facing the stress. Right from 25 Mar. ‘20 when the first ever national lockdown began, Fuel stations have remained open, being an essential category. While many dealers shut down for fear of the infection spread, many braved the situation and remained open with paltry business.
About 25% of Fuel stations may shut down due to business adversities and their inability to manage spiralling costs. Temporary staff demand a higher salary during this pandemic period and when added up, Opex is almost 120% income which makes the business unviable, said KP Murali, President, TN Petroleum Dealers Association.
Retail Price of Petrol touched Rs. 96.23 on 4 Jun. ‘21 while Diesel soared to Rs. 90.38. However, the Dealers margin has remained a fixed value and has not been revised since 2017, as advised by the Apoorva Chandra Committed. The TNPDA has requested Mr. MK Stalin, call me of Tamil Nadu to enlist all those who are involved in fuel trade – the dealers, staff, drivers of tankers among others, as frontline workers as they pledge their lives to keep the economy “well-oiled”. This will enable them to be covered under various schemes offered by the Central & State Governments towards Covid-19 relief.