Fuel pump dealers in Delhi threatened to go on indefinite strike from June 14 to protest hike in Value-Added Tax (VAT) on diesel that has made the fuel costlier in the national capital compared to the neighbouring states.
“Our pleas to the Delhi government have fallen on deaf ears,” Delhi NCR Petrol Dealers Association President Ajay Bansal said.
But before that, the new “weekly off” of the filling stations begins on Monday when all the outlets will be shut from 6 am on Monday for the next 24 hours. On May 14, pump dealers had shut shop for 24 hours in protest.
“Let’s see if we can get the government to understand the gravity of our situation,” said Nishit Goel of Delhi Petrol Dealers Association. He claimed sales were drying up as the differential between diesel prices in Delhi and Haryana is nearly Rs 4 per litre.
In June 2008, Haryana reduced VAT on diesel to 8.8 per cent from 12 per cent, thereby making it cheaper than in Delhi where VAT on fuel was 12.5 per cent.
“From 13.5 crore litres a month, the sales of diesel in Delhi came down to 8.5 crore litres a month (loss of 37 per cent),” he claimed.
The already “bleeding” dealers were dealt with another blow on April 1 this year when the Delhi government raised VAT on diesel to 20 per cent.