Petrol pump dealers in Delhi have postponed their indefinite strike from June 14 on the assurance of state Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit to look into their demand for lowering VAT on diesel.
"All the 408 Delhi petrol pump dealers have postponed the indefinite strike from June 14 in the wake of an assurance
given by Dikshit," Delhi NCR Petrol Dealers Association President Ajay Bansal said.
Pump dealers had shut shop on May 14 and May 24 in protest against the hike in VAT on diesel, which has made the
fuel costlier in the national capital compared to neighbouring states.
Bansal claimed that the Chief Minister has asked the sales tax commissioner to take a "very sympathetic view" of
the problems of pump dealers.
"We are also awaiting a meeting where the Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Delhi will jointly take a call on this
issue within 2-3 days," he said.
Bansal said sales are drying up as the differential between diesel prices in Delhi and Haryana is nearly Rs 4 per
"Chief ministers of Haryana and Punjab till date have not replied to the letter sent to them by the Chief Minister of
Delhi requesting them to raise the VAT rate on diesel," he said, adding that major sales of diesel have shifted from
Delhi to Haryana.
Haryana gained additional revenue of Rs 50 crore in April due to increased sales.
In June, 2008, Haryana reduced the VAT on diesel to 8.8 per cent from 12 per cent, thereby making it cheaper than Delhi, where VAT on fuel is 12.5 per cent. On top of this, the Delhi government from April 1 raised VAT on diesel to 20 per cent.
Delhi is bordered from all sides, but the East, by Haryana.
The increase in VAT has made diesel in Delhi more expensive than even Uttar Pradesh, which is East of Delhi.