New Delhi, May 14 (ANI): Petrol pumps in Delhi are observing a 24-hour shutdown in protest against the hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel by the Delhi Government on Friday.
Over 400 petrol pumps in Delhi are said to have downed their shutters.
Pump owners say oil sales have gone down by over 40 percent since the price hike.
"Diesel sales have reduced by 50 percent in June 2008 and have reduced by another 40 percent this year. This has made it unviable to run several petrol pumps. There are 20,000 families dependent on us and its becoming tough to even give out salaries," said Atul Peshawaria, president, Delhi Petrol Dealers Association.
Peshawaria added that the association has sent repeated representations to the government but to no avail.
"We don't want to inconvenience the people. But there seems to be no other way out. The government is completely unwilling to listen to us. If the sales have dropped so much, how can the government make more money on taxes?" Peshawaria questioned.
In Haryana, the price of diesel has been cut by Rs 3.88 where as in UP it will be cut by 68 paisa.
A litre of diesel costs Rs 34.75 in Haryana, as against Rs 38.10 in Delhi.
Pump owners said that due to hike in VAT, the motorists are choosing Noida, Faridabad or Guragaon which are under the NCR, to get a fill.
On April 9, the pump owners had called off their strike, following the assurance of Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit that their grievances will be addressed within 15 days.
Meanwhile, autorickshaw unions are also planning an indefinite strike from May 17 demanding to increase in minimum fare. (ANI)