The All Haryana petrol pump dealers association has announced an indefinite strike starting from July 20 against the non-fulfillment of their demands by the state government.
Association president Dinesh Goyal said that none of the 2,310 petrol pumps would buy petrol or diesel from the petroleum companies.
He said that the decision was taken after a resolution was passed by the state petroleum dealers in a meeting held in Rohtak on Friday.
"Interests of our trade have been ignored by the Haryana government repeatedly. Due to a hike in VAT on diesel in Haryana, the fuel in other states will be cheaper as their VAT is lower. Transporters coming from states like Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh would therefore not buy diesel from Haryana and go to other states where diesel is cheaper. This will ultimately kill our business," said Goyal.
Petroleum dealers in Haryana have been protesting for the past few weeks and recent increase in value added tax (VAT) is being seen as the reason behind the announcement of this strike.
Dealers said that contrary to the assurances given by the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) that VAT would be increased only marginally in Haryana, the authorities have increased VAT.
Goyal said that as mark of protest the dealers had stopped selling fuel to government vehicles on credit between July 10 to July 13.
While admitting that the forthcoming indefinite strike would hit a common man adversely, Goyal said that the association was fighting for the wider section of the society.
"Sharp rise in VAT on diesel will directly impact the prices of all other commodities. Farmers will now have to shell out extra amount due to increase in petroleum taxes. The state government is crushing the interests of all sections with this decision," he said.
Goyal said that the association also wants the government to waiver the tax on evaporated fuel. "Petrol and diesel get evaporated during storage, transit and sale and the Petroleum Act notifies evaporation losses for each Petroleum product. It is illogical to pay taxes for the evaporated fuel," he said.They also want commercial tax on petrol pumps to be waivered.