PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday October 28, 2016 – Gas stations will now become an easy target for criminals!
That’s the view of president of the Petroleum Dealers’ Association of (PDATT) Trinidad and Tobago Robindranath Naraynsingh, following a move by the majority of gas station owners in Trinidad and Tobago to implement a cash only policy.
In fact, Naraynsingh blamed the Government for leaving gas stations like “sitting ducks” to potential criminals.
“When you stop to think about the totality of things it is not a big difference. That is what the Government has exposed the dealers to,” Naraynsingh said of the move taken by members to reduce operating costs.
“We have become sitting ducks for criminals now with the measures we have imposed. When we look at what is happening we are at the mercy of the Government. The Government has to take us out of this position that we have found ourselves in.”
The head of the PDATT argued that because of Government’s imposition of a 15 per cent increase in the price of diesel last month, they were left with no choice but to take the current measure.
He explained that only 20 per cent of the country’s 170 gas stations accepted cards at the moment and of that 170, only 40 operate convenient stores that make a higher profit margin than the dealers.
“Every time the consumers swipe their card at a gas station the merchant pays three per cent, while our profit margin is four per cent.
“We have always been there for the public but with the increase in prices and taxes, how could we continue to pay our mortgages, workers and bills? We are barely keeping afloat. We had to take action to cut our costs,” Naraynsingh added.
He said he hoped the police service would give them more protection as they would not be handling large amounts of cash.