Kathmandu, May 23 : The Petroleum Dealers' National Association has urged its member pumps to cut off all expenses except the most essentials citing a significant fall in the consumption of petroleum products due to lockdown. The petroleum business went down heavily due to lockdown against coronavirus, it said, urging member pumps for the preparedness to cope with crisis from a lay-off to the suspension of supplies of oil in credit. The Association's meeting held on Friday through a videoconference decided to run pumps by the least number of staff, halt the distribution of products in credit, keep the supplies continued by reserving the stock and reduce capital expenditure, said Association Chair Lilendra Prasad Pradhan. All dealers have been urged to make transactions only in cash, cut off all expenses except the most essentials and make the fuel supply chain effective in coordination with local levels. He predicted the possibility of 50 percent staff cuts if the lockdown is continued. ''Though our all dealers are open, the demand is very low; staff are facing issues even to visit pumps; now many are at homes and getting facilities but if the crisis goes on, it will be needed to take a harsh step,'' he said. The Association is preparing for staff retrenchment. According to him, around 5,000 people are employed in around its 1,500 petrol pumps. Besides, it has complained of no-hearing of its frequent request to the Nepal Oil Corporation to facilitate for the coronvirus test of its staff. He accused the NOC of becoming insensitive to the health of Association employees. As it said, all petrol pumps under its subordination are open and the stock is sufficient. However, the demand for petrol is relatively high these days than the initial days of lockdown as farming season began in the Terai.