PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – No cash, no gas!
That’s the stance being taken by the majority of gas station owners in Trinidad and Tobago.
The measure, which will see electronic payments for fuel at the pumps come to an end from Friday, was announced by the Trinidad and Tobago Petroleum Dealers Association (TTPDA).
TTPDA president Robindranath Naraynsingh said a decision was taken to discontinue the service as a cost-cutting measure without having to lay off staff.
Announcing its decision via a written statement this week, the TTPDA said the retail margin, which should facilitate fair operational costs, has remained fixed since about 2005, while in January there was “a whopping 200 per cent increase in both Business Levy and Green Fund Levy taxes, immediately destabilizing the business of retailing fuel in TT.”
Naraynsingh said while the decision was made at a TTPDA meeting last week, some dealers had stopped accepting debit and credit cards “long before”, due to the increasingly small retail margin.
“Credit cards incur a cost which we cannot pass on to the customers because the Minister of Energy sets the retail price and the wholesale price of gas. However, the acceptance of credit cards is a cost that we can do something about in order to meet our commitments,” he explained, adding that the vast majority of gas stations across the country were operated by TTPDA members.
While acknowledging the move would cause “inconvenience” to some motorists, the TTPDA said accepting cash only payments “is the least jarring measure we can take to keep our nation’s gas stations in operation.”