The decision of the Petroleum Dealers Co-operative Society (PDC) Ltd to temporarily suspend its operations because of the covid19 pandemic, will not affect the supply of gasoline to the public. Petroleum Dealers Association (PDA) president Robin Narayansingh made this comment in reference to a statement issued by the PDC.
PDC employees are responsible for the sale of liquid products (engine oil, brake fluid etc) at gas stations. Members of the PDA are also members of the PDC. In its statement, the PDC said it decided to temporarily suspend its business operations to minimise the risk of exposure to covid19.
Narayansingh said the PDC has 3,000 workers employed at 150 gas stations throughout TT. Due to concerns about the workers' safety because of the pandemic, Narayansingh said the workers were paid their monthly salaries and advised to stay away from work for one month. He added the PDA wait to see if the Energy Ministry gives any instructions regarding the operation of gas stations during the pandemic.
In a statement, the National Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd (NPMC) said it continues to ensure the continuous and reliable supply of liquid fuels, aviation fuel, cooking, gas and lubricants to the local market. NPMC said under its agreement with the franchisees/service stations dealers, it offers payment terms as a matter of policy.
NPMC said it is reviewing these payment terms and will be guided by its policy, with "due consideration due to each franchisee/dealer's unique circumstances (within set parameters)."
The PDC said during the pandemic, the NPMC first response to workers at gas stations and convenience stores was to provide them with gloves.
The PDC subsequently said NPMC ended a contract to lubricant distributors and replace existing distributors with new ones, while instituting a six per cent price increase to the public. The PDC claimed the new contract was presented to distributors after business hours on March 20.