Crime situation worries petrol dealers

Guyana Chronicle
April 20, 2003

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THE Guyana Petrol Sellers and Dealers Association (GPSDA) has expressed concern over the escalating crime situation in the country. In a press release issued over the weekend, the Association outlined a number of issues of concern that had been raised at the body’s last Committee meeting on April 17, 2003.

Among those issues were the escalation of the crime situation throughout the country and, more importantly, the robbery of the various gas stations. They had also discussed the failure of the Linden Power Station generators and the price increase in gasoline.

“Recently, two petrol stations, namely Parsram Service Station of Port Mourant and Tackie Service Station of Hogstyle, both on the Corentyne, have been robbed. Just a few months ago three service stations were torched and robbed and there was also the wanton killing of Brian Hamilton of the Esso Service Station at Buxton on the East Coast of Demerara,” said the release.

The release pointed out that there have also been numerous robberies on other business premises and also on hire cars and minibuses all of which have suffered great losses and damage.

Addressing the issue of the failure of the generators of the Linden Power Station, the release said that note was taken of a statement made by President Bharrat Jagdeo to the effect that the failure was caused mainly by the use of contaminated fuel.

President of the Association Mr Charles Woon-A-Tai said in the statement that the Association has been bringing to the attention of the relevant authorities the dangers associated with the large quantities of illegal fuel entering the country. However, “these warnings seem to have fallen on deaf ears”.

“We hope that the situation at the Linden Power Plant will propel Government to put the illegal entry of fuel into the country on the front burner,” the release added.

The GPSDA has raised a number of issues with the relevant authorities concerning the Petroleum Act, the Fair Competition Act, regularising the wholesale prices on fuel, Duty Free concessions and the privatisation of government owned stations.

The statement also clarified the perception of members of the public that price increases benefited the dealers. “We wish to make it categorically clear that price increases further reduce our profits due to the fixed dollar margin used per gallon and not a fixed percentage. Also as prices increase, sales decrease while more is invested for fewer products.”

The GPSDA said it was calling on the relevant authorities to remedy the crime situation and the issues affecting the Association. The body also offered sympathy to those citizens who have suffered losses at the hands of the bandits.

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