THE Petroleum Dealers Co-operative Ltd (PDC) on Tuesday said it wants to meet with Energy Minister Franklin Khan to resolve issues involving a new lubricants contract with National Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd (NPMC). The PDC is responsible for supply in lubricants to NPMC’s service stations but play no role in the supply of gasoline to the public.
In a statement, the PDC said contrary to Khan’s statements on Monday, its decision for its workers to temporarily stop operations at gas stations because of the covid19 pandemic were not related to negotiations for a new contract with NPMC. The PDC said it took the decision in keeping with the efforts of the Government, led by the Prime Minister, to contain and combat the spread of covid19.
The group said while the PDC and NPMC had spoked on an updated agreement, there was never a negotiation with NPMC.
The PDC said Khan should have been aware that the issue relates to a contract over lubricants, and not to the sale and supply of gas to the public.
“Conflation of the two things run the risk of causing a public panic, and can be seem as inflammatory.” The PDC added that Khan has a duty to bring all stakeholders together for the public good, and not rush to take sides.
Khan slammed the PDC for using the covid19 pandemic as a threat in commercial negotiations with the NPMC. Khan also gave the assurance that the PDC’s action would not impact the supply of gasoline to the public. He said the PDC should not be confused with the Petroleum Dealers Association (PDA).
Khan said the agreement for the PDC to supply lubricants to NPMC had expired and NPMC had provided a new agreement for the PDC to sign. While the PDC has issues with the new agreement, Khan criticised the group for using covid19 to put NPMC’s back to the wall during negotiations for a commercial arrangement. He appealed to the PDC to desist from that course of action.