By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net IT has been a "slow process" for the margin increase petroleum retailers received back in October to start showing itself, the Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association (BPRA) president, Oswald Moore, told Tribune Business yesterday. Retailers contacted by this newspaper said that with the price of oil down they have felt some relief from the Government's margin increase, although one well-known retailer told Tribune Business that increase was a "band-aid" approach to the issue. Mr Moore said: "It's been a slow process for the increase we got to gradually start showing itself. Hopefully, the small increase we got will gradually add up over time and give us a portion of the assistance that we need." The BPRA had asked for an increase of $0.74 per gallon for gasoline and $0.47 per gallon for diesel. Back in October, the Government increased their gasoline and diesel margins by $0.10 and $0.15 per gallon respectively. Gas retail margins had been previously fixed at $0.44 per gallon of gasoline and $0.19 per gallon of diesel. Gasoline now stands at $0.54 cents per gallon, and it is $0.34 cents per gallon of diesel. Bernard Dorsett, owner of Porky's Texaco Service Centre in East Street, told Tribune Business: "It wasn't what we asked for but it's better than nothing. I've seen it. I doing better than I was. I can feel the little difference. It's better than it was. "We can feel it because fuel is still down. With fuel down, that's relief in itself. The way fuel is structured, the higher it goes we still make the same money, so our investment has to increase." Mr Dorsett added: "Right now I am buying a load of fuel for like $41,000 and something. Earlier I was buying a load of fuel for almost $50,000. The fuel price is still down, so that in itself is plenty relief for me. The financial strain is still there but with the price down is some relief, plus the $0.10 cents we get on the gallon. It isn't what we wanted but it's some relief." Arnold Heastie, proprietor of Heastie's Esso Service Station on Blue Hill Road, told Tribune Business: "We see some relief. It doesn't solve the whole problem. After a couple of years it's going to be right back to the same problem. It should have been a percentage increase so it goes up and down with the price. They didn't address that problem. All they did was put a band-aid on it. A band-aid still works, but for how long?" He added: "I am independent; there are very few independents. Persons who have to pay rent and franchise fees. I have my own challenges, but I don't have that, someone over my head every minute. Sales are still down due to the road. They are still down 35 per cent from two years ago."


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