The high cost of petrol and diesel in Punjab than the neighbouring states are not only pinching the common man, but also petrol-pump dealers who claimed to have been facing loses.
While the state government charges 31% as Value Added Tax (VAT) (including all taxes), 20.5 % VAT is being charged in Haryana, 24 % in Himachal Pradesh and 22 % in Chandigarh.
According to the petrol-pump dealers, if state government reduces the VAT in Punjab, the cost of petrol can be reduced up to `7. The petrol pump dealers in the areas near neighbouring states or Chandigarh rued that local people used to get their oil tanks filled at the petrol pumps of neighbouring states, where the oil was cheaper.
Paramjit Singh Doaba, president, Petrol Pump Dealers Association (PPDA), Punjab, said, “We are demanding the state government to charge 20% VAT, as same value of VAT is being charged in Haryana.”
“There are more than 2,850 petrol pumps in the state. Due to high VAT being charged by the state government, we are facing loses. The petrol pumps of 12 districts have been badly affected,” he said.
After a meeting held at Circuit House, PPDA general secretary Ashok Jain said, “The forest department has issued notices to 100 petrol pumps of the state to pay high charges for using the department's land. We want the government to end these charges, as we cannot pay heavy charges to forest department.”
During the meeting, BJP leader Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal, who is also secretary of Federation of All India Petroleum Traders, said, “I will put forth the demands of petrol-pump dealers before the state government.
The dealers have also demanded the state government to provide them relief, as they cannot afford to pay property tax.”