March onwards, no payment had been made to the dealers, said Khanna, adding that major defaulters were the excise and sales department, and police. "About Rs. 50 lakh is due against the excise and sales department alone," he further said.
The original decision was to discontinue the supply immediately but then the administrations of some districts sought a month's time. Now if the dues are not cleared by November 30, from December 1, there will be no refuelling for indefinite period.
"Owners of the fuel retail outlets are under financial crisis already, as the margin on sale has become very less and the investment has increased because of the cost of the product," said the dealer association president. Since the policy of bulk purchase of petroleum products has made petrol costly by Rs. 6 to 7 per litre at state-owned pumps, even state-run Punjab Roadways and PEPSU buses now refuel at private filling stations.