Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who had announced withdrawal of octroi the day the code of conduct for the elections were announced and had to roll it back, has not implemented the step more than a month after regaining power.
Alliance partner BJP has decided to take up the issue with the chief minister. The election manifesto of the BJP also promised removal of octroi.
When contacted, national executive member of BJP and spokesperson Manoranjan Kalia said that BJP would definitely fulfill its promise made to the urban population. He said he would take up the issue with the chief minister.
"I will meet the CM soon to demand immediate abolition of octroi on fuel, as the notification regarding it was issued before the polls. Now only implementation is left." President of Punjab Petroleum Outlets Association, JP Khanna has reiterated immediate the demand for withdrawal of octroi on fuel.
"We want the Punjab government to fulfil its promised. Octroi on fuel must be abolished." The abolition of octroi on fuel would have led to petrol and diesel prices, falling by 75 paise and 85 paise per litre, respectively within cities, Khanna claimed. Total collection from the levy stands at Rs 40-42 crore per annum.
"Punjab is the only state in the country which imposes octroi on fuel. You will not find such levy anywhere in the country," Khanna said.
He said he had recently met Punjab minister for local government Bhagat Chunni Lal and requested him to honour the promise made before elections.
Khanna said that abolition of octroi would be a major relief to consumers living in cities. It would also contain the practice of "smuggling" of fuel from rural areas to urban ones. "The imposition of octroi on fuel has a cascading impact on consumers. It leads to double taxation."
On December 24, during a BJP rally, the CM had announced abolition of octroi on fuel within the municipal limits of towns and cities across the state. A few hours later, the election commission announced the date of assembly poll in Punjab, putting the election code of conduct into action.