Petroleum dealers want increase
By Marlon Madden | Fri, April 20, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Some petroleum dealers could quit retailing petrol if Government doesn’t grant them a dealer margin increase soon, according to Livingston Carter, president of the Barbados Petroleum Dealers Association.
Carter said that over the past four years, over ten dealers exited the business because they no longer considered it profitable, and more could follow suit.
He noted that petrol prices had increased “significantly over the last few years” and therefore they had to fork out more money to buy the products – but still received the same margins.
Out of every dollar they take in, petrol dealers get 19 cents per litre on gas, 14 cents per litre on diesel, and four cents per litre on kerosene. This has been the case over the past six years.
“Even so, salaries would have increased since then, electricity cost would have gone up significantly and that underscore it.
“From that standpoint it impacts our operations, plus more people are using debit cards [and] in most cases, banks are charging over two per cent [per transaction] which impacts on our cost as well,” he explained.
Carter further argued that if an increase was not received soon, it could affect employment.
“The Petroleum Dealers Association is very much aware of the wages that customer service representatives [or pump attendants] receive. We are mindful that they should be getting an increase in due course.
“As far as a margin increase is concerned, we don’t want to cut staff or put them on a two- or three-day work week but if the margin increase is not met, then those are things dealers will be forced to consider,” said Carter.
Noting that he was not prepared to give details about the outcome of any meetings with Government, Carter told BArBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that the association and other stakeholders would have already met with the Government ministry responsible for the sector on several occasions.
He said they were also “currently in discussions with Government with a view to raise the margin” but would not say if they had given the Government a deadline.
“We have made representation to Government since 2008 for a margin increase. We have made all the submissions and they promised us that very soon they will make a decision,” he said.
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