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Petrol pump strike continues

Times Nationl Desk - January 21st, 2013

An indefinite strike of petrol pump owners and tank-lorry workers is continuing across the country since Sunday morning.
Bangladesh Petrol Pump Owners and Tank-Lorry Owners-Workers Unity Council enforced the strike to press home their nine-point demands, including a hike in commission on sales of fuel.
Around 9,000 petrol pumps remain closed and tank-lorries are staying off the streets across the country following the strike that began at 6:00am.
Our correspondent while visiting a number of petrol pumps around 11:15am found all the pumps closed in the capital.
The filling stations were providing only gas for vehicles but were not selling diesel, octane or petrol.
People, who were not aware of the strike, are facing trouble and rushing one station to another in search of fuel with a hope of getting some for the day at least, the reporter said.

Chittagong

The strike is also being observed in the division over the same demand.
A total of 120 petrol pumps in the port city remained shut since the morning as part of the countrywide indefinite strike enforced by the council, said Ahmed Nabi, executive president of the Chittagong divisional petrol pump owners association.
Besides, 54 filling stations in Cox’s Bazar, Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Rangamati were also remained closed, reports our Chittagong correspondent.

Background
On January 13, Nazmul Haq, convener of Bangladesh Petrol Pump Owners and Tank-Lorry Owners-Workers Unity Council, at a press briefing threatened to observe the countrywide strike if their demands were not met by January 19 (Saturday).
Their demands include a 3.4 percent hike in commission on sales of diesel and 4 percent on sales of petrol and octane and increase of fares of tank-lorries due to price hike of fuel.
Other demands of the pump owners include a rise in tank-lorry fare and action against adulteration of fuel.
Earlier on Saturday, the council leaders, at a press briefing also said during the strike there will be no fuel transportation across the country and that they will also refrain from supplying fuel to the aircrafts.
The recent price hike of fuel forced petrol pump and lorry owners to spend Tk 63,000 extra on per lorry fuel, as the rise in commission was very nominal.
The government increased the prices of four types of fuels and distributors’ commission on January 3.
The government’s negligence in implementing its promises is frustrating petrol pump and tank-lorry owners and workers, he said.
They also demanded formulation of a policy guideline for approving petrol pump business, construction of tank-lorry terminals at fuel depots and introduction of insurance coverage of Tk 5 lakh for tank-lorry drivers.