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Maharashtra petrol pumps go on strike

Petrol pumps across Maharashtra have gone on an indefinite strike to protest high sales tax in the state.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2006 13:19 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Petrol pump dealers across Maharashtra launched an indefinite strike from early Monday morning to protest against the high sales tax levied by the state on auto fuel, which was driving business to other states.

'The strike is total," Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers' Association President Ravi Shindhe claimed and added that the trade body had not received any call from the Government to withdraw the strike.

He said company-owned-company-operated (COCO) pumps are, however, operating in the state.

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.

Fampeda General Secretary Uday Lodh said repeated missives to draw the Government's attention went in vain and as a result the dealers had no other alternative but to go on an indefinite strike.

In Nagpur, only nine petrol pumps operated by Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited were open while in rural areas Reliance petrol pumps were open, official sources said.

In Nasik, 180 petrol pumps participated in the indefinite strike, according to Suresh Garje of Nasik District Petrol Dealers' Association.

During the strike 2,200 members of Fampeda will stop buying and stocking fuel, he added.

First Published: Sep 18, 2006 12:42 IST