Fuel price hike: Petrol pumps to remain shut in Delhi today
New Delhi, Oct 21: In protest against Delhi government's refusal to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel and petrol in the capital, 400 petrol pumps along with linked Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) dispensing units will remain shut today for 24 hours.
The association said that they will observe the strike from 6 am on 22 October to 5 am on 23 October. Following the strike call, all petrol and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) pumps in the national capital will remain closed.
DPDA president Nischal Singhania said, "The central government had slashed the rate of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.50 per litre each on September 4. This was followed by reduction of VAT (value added tax) by various states including neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, bringing relief to their residents.
"But, the Delhi government refused to reduce VAT on fuel both petrol and diesel resulting in fuel becoming more expensive than bordering Haryana and Uttar Pradesh."
In comparison to Delhi, fuel rates in bordering states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are cheaper, he said.
Because of high price in Delhi and low prices in states like UP and Haryana, customers are deserting the petrol pumps in Delhi leading to huge drop in sales, Singhania said.
Due to difference in prices, there has been a sharp drop of 50-60 per cent in sale of diesel in Delhi and 25 per cent in petrol in this quarter, the DPDA president said, adding that on Monday, all the 400 pumps of Delhi will neither purchase nor sell petrol, diesel and CNG.
The dealers have called for a protest after Delhi government refused to decrease Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. VAT in Delhi is higher than neighboring Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
The Centre had recently cut the excise duty by Rs 1.50 per litre and asked PSU oil firms to subsidise fuel by Re 1. Thereafter other states followed suit and announced a cut in fuel prices. Maharashtra and Gujarat governments were among the first to announce a matching Rs 2.50 cut.
They were later joined by Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, Uttarakhand, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh and Bihar with similar moves. Jammu and Kashmir, which is under the governor's rule, too reduced the tax on the two fuel. Maharashtra, however, reduced VAT only on petrol and not on diesel.
Even before the excise duty cut, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh had last month reduced VAT to cushion consumers for a spate of price increases.