MP government's recent decision to increase value added tax (VAT) on fuel has badly hit petrol pump owners, particularly those situated on border areas of Madhya Pradesh.
Many of the owners have claimed that the daily sale of fuel has reduced to half — thanks to high taxation on petrol and diesel as compared to neigbouring states.
According to the reports, more than 270 petrol pumps in the border areas of the Madhya Pradesh have been directly affected by the decision of the government.
Big difference in fuel prices as compared to neighbouring states forced vehicle owners from village as well as those who are travelling in the area to refuel their vehicles from Maharashtra instead of pumps situated in Madhya Pradesh.
Bhushan Jain, the COCO (Company Owned Company Operated) petrol pump dealer at village Gawadi AB road, said that the sale of diesel has come down to 50% following the rise in Value Added Tax (VAT) to 27% from 23% which is highest in the country. "Presently we are selling about 4000-5000 litres per day against ten thousand lwhich we used to sell earlier," Jain said.
Another petrol pump owner of Niwali Rishi Pal Singh Bhatiya said that the commercial vehicles specially trucks coming from other states have stopped filling diesel pumps in border areas. Some of them have installed two fuel tanks on either side and were carrying cane full of diesel with them.
"Adding more woe, Maharashtra petrol pump owners have put up banners displaying the lesser fuel prices, which were higher earlier," said Bhatiya. However, some of the petrol pump owners have started giving gifts to the customers in an effort to deal with the situation.
Sattar Sheikh of Gawadi village, a petrol pump owner situated on AB Road National Highway, has left no stone unturned to attract customer and have started distributing leaflets of various offers on purchase of diesel.
He has put different items like mufflers, cap, thermos, towels, trousers, T-shirts to be given out to customers vafter buying diesel. Senior member of petrol pump owner association Om Prakash Khandelwal (Pansemal town) and the president of Nimar Petrol Pump Association, Radheshyam Sahu, said that more than 270 petrol pumps in the border areas of the Madhya Pradesh have been directly affected by the decision of the government.