If weekly strikes don't yield results, petrol dealers — demanding uniformity in VAT rates in Delhi and Haryana — have warned of an indefinite strike in June.
The dealers have already observed a one-day strike on May 14 and decided to observe a “protest-weekly-off” every Monday from May 24.
“In June 2008 Haryana reduced VAT on diesel to 8.8 per cent, thereby making it cheaper than in Delhi,” Delhi Petrol Dealers' Association (DPDA) Vice-President Nishit Goyal said.
“Consequently, diesel sales in Delhi came down from 13.5 crore litre in April 2008 to 10 crore litre in April 2009. Now, after the recent hike in VAT rates to 20 per cent, sales have further dropped to six crore litres in April 2010.”
If the government does not reduce the VAT to 8.8 per cent, some 200 petrol pumps would face permanent closure in two months, Goyal said.
Besides, about 10,000 employees working in 325 petrol pumps are going to lose their jobs as the pumps have become unviable, he further claimed.