Mumbai fuel strike hits commuters
More than 2,200 petrol and CNG pumps are on an indefinite strike across Maharashtra to protest high sales tax.india Updated: Sep 18, 2006 16:29 IST
The effect of the petrol pump strike is showing in Mumbai with taxis opting to stay off roads during non-peak hours.
Taxi-drivers unions in Mumbai have said that long distance taxi services may also be affected if the strike continues.
More than 2,200 petrol and CNG pumps are on an indefinite strike across Maharashtra to protest against the high sales tax on fuel in the state.
Owners of private petrol pumps claim repeated pleas to the government to lower sales tax have had no effect.
They said that that the strike will continue until the government announces a cut in sales tax.
"The strike is total," Ravi Shindhe, President, Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers' Association claimed.
He said that the trade body had not received any call from the government to withdraw the strike.
Sales tax in Maharashtra is the highest in the country at 34 per cent compared to neighbouring states of Goa (21 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (28), Gujarat (28) and Karnataka (30).
The disparity was leading to the flight of high volume of diesel trade from Maharashtra to the neighbouring states, FAMPEDA claimed.
Due to this upto 800 petrol pumps near Maharashtra's borders are on the verge of shutting down.
They say that customers prefer crossing the border to get cheaper petrol from neighbouring states.
However this isn't a total strike. Approximately 40 petrol pumps in Mumbai are open.
They are not part of the strike and a total of around 700 outlets are staying out of the strike across the state.