By Lian Cheng
SIBU, Dec 28: The policy of floating the price of RON95 petrol starting this coming Tuesday (Jan 1) is putting petrol station operators in a fix.
A petrol station operator in Sibu, Jason Lau, told DayakDaily that the “new” yet “old” policy was putting them in a difficult situation all over again.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng recently announced that Putrajaya would be returning to a weekly float for the RON95 petrol price from Jan 1 onwards. He said this would allow consumers to benefit faster from reductions in the fuel prices.
Lau said the policy meant everything is “back to square one”, like before when fuel prices fluctuated.
“To the consumers, they are only affected by the prices of the fuel, but for us, the policy puts us in a fix.”
He said when fuel prices dropped, the demand will soar and petrol stations will run out of fuel in no time at all.
“But if we were to ask for more (petrol), we will have to wait. By the time the fuel arrives, the prices might go up again and demand slows down.”
When the prices are high, there will be less demand, meaning the operators have in their hands more `expensively acquired’ fuel.
“And if it happens that the following week the price drops, then we will have to sell the more expensively acquired petrol at lower prices, meaning we make a loss.
“That is why we are not keen to stock up fuel,” said Lau, who expressed his frustration and disappointment with the latest turn of events.
He explained that petrol stations earn only small commissions for every litre of fuel sold. For diesel, the commission is 6 sen and for RON95, it is 12 sen.
“For many years now, the commission rates remained the same amid inflation and the rise in operational costs, especially wages,” Lau lamented. — DayakDaily