Pump owners against hike, no fuel on April 9
More than 400 petrol pumps in Delhi are expected to remain shut on April 9, reports Atul Mathur.Updated: Apr 02, 2010, 23:35 IST
More than 400 petrol pumps in Delhi are expected to remain shut on April 9.
Protesting against the recent hike in Value-Added Tax (VAT) on diesel, the petroleum dealers have threatened to go on a one-day strike next Friday.
Petroleum dealers said a final decision would be announced after their general body meeting on Saturday.
Dealers said the recent hike in VAT by 7.5 per cent have pushed up diesel prices by Rs 2.37, making it costlier by Rs 3.50 than in Haryana and 70 paise costlier than in Uttar Pradesh.
“Delhi is surrounded by Haryana from most sides. Why would anyone come to a Delhi fuel pump to buy diesel when it is available at a cheaper price just a few kilometres away in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonepat and others?” said Anil Bijlani, general secretary of Delhi Petrol Dealers Association.
With the increase in VAT from 12.5 per cent to 20 per cent, diesel costs Rs 38.10 in Delhi, while it is available for Rs 35.60 in Haryana.
Petroleum dealers argue that they lost almost 35 per cent of their business to Haryana petroleum dealers when the neighbouring state reduced VAT on diesel from 12.5 per cent to 8.8 per cent in June 2008 and their sales dropped from 12.5 crore litres a month to 8.5 crore litres a month.
“With this new increase in prices, we may lose 65-70 per cent business to the neighbouring states. If the difference in prices remain this much, we might have to stop selling diesel completely,” said Bijlani.