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Punjab News: Petrol Pump Dealer Association (PPDA) Pauses Strike in Punjab Amid Scheduled Meeting with Oil Companies

Punjab News: The Petrol Pump Dealer Association (PPDA) in Punjab has decided to halt its strike as a crucial meeting with oil companies is slated for today. Consequently, petrol pumps across the state, which were slated for closure on February 22, will continue operations. The association’s decision to postpone the strike comes amidst ongoing negotiations with oil companies regarding dealers’ commission rates.

Background: Demands and Delayed Action

For the past seven years, oil marketing companies (OMCs) have refrained from increasing margins for dealers, prompting protests from the PPDA. Ashok Sachdeva, chairman of the PPDA, highlighted that fuel prices have remained stagnant since 2017, with diesel prices seeing only a marginal increase of ₹2 per litre. In response, the PPDA had previously announced plans to boycott fuel purchases from oil companies on February 15 and to close all pumps in Punjab on February 22, causing disruptions in fuel supply and triggering panic buying among consumers.

Potential Escalation and Nationwide Impact

Ashok Sachdeva expressed the PPDA’s anticipation of broader support for their cause, indicating that the protest could escalate if the government fails to address their demands. The association warns that if the meeting with oil companies proves inconclusive, they will resume their strike on February 29, potentially leading to further disruptions in fuel supply across the state.

Concurrent Developments: Farmer Protests Resumption

This development unfolds against the backdrop of ongoing farmer protests in Punjab, where farmers are demanding legal assurances for minimum support prices for crops and the forgiveness of farm debt. The convergence of these protests underscores the broader socio-economic challenges facing agricultural communities in the region.

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