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Petrol pump owners postpone strike till Sep 12

Bangladesh’s petrol pump owners have decided to give the government until September 12 to fulfil their list of five demands, including higher sales commissions. If their demands are not met by then, a ‘symbolic strike’ will be enforced at petrol pumps across the country from dawn to 11 am on September 13, according to them.

The Petrol Pump Owners Association had previously threatened to go on strike on Aug 31 to press home their demands. But they decided to extend the deadline after a meeting with the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation on Sunday, according to the association’s chief Md Nazmul Haque.

Speaking at a media briefing on Monday, BPC Chairman ABM Azad said the demands would have to be considered at an inter-ministerial meeting, reports bdnews24.com.

“We told them to give us some time and wait until the ministries make their decision.”

Nazmul said it became clear at the meeting with BPC officials that the issues involved more than one ministry, and therefore, an inter-ministerial meeting was needed to resolve them.

“As such, we are postponing the strike until Sept 12. If our demands are not met by then, the strike will be held on Sept 13.”

Earlier on Aug 24, Nazmul said a 7 percent commission rate on fuel oil prices had been determined at a meeting between government officials and the petrol pump owners. But, the decision is yet to be implemented.

In a meeting with energy ministry officials in 2011, it was also decided that no mobile court sessions or raids would be conducted at petrol pumps without the presence of the BPC, a consumer watchdog, the BSTI or any other government officials, he said. That, too, has not been implemented, according to Nazmul.