Chandigarh, July 29

More than 3,400 petrol pump stations on Wednesday remained shut in protest against the high rate of taxes on petrol and diesel in Punjab in comparison to neighbouring states.

Fuel pump dealers said their businesses had been adversely affected due to the disparity in retail prices of petroleum products on account of the high rate of value added tax on petrol and diesel.

“Over 3,400 petrol pump dealers in Punjab kept their fuel stations shut today,” Petrol Pump Dealers Association, Punjab, president Paramjit Singh said.

The daily sale of petrol and diesel in Punjab is 3,200 kilolitre and 10,000 KL respectively, said Singh.

Fuel consumers faced inconvenience because of the closure of petrol pumps in the state.

However, a few petrol pumps in some areas including Faridkot and Ferozepur remained open.

Punjab-based petroleum dealers had announced the closure of their fuel stations from 8 am till 5 pm after the death of one of their members.

A Mohali-based fuel pump owner G S Chawla had allegedly committed suicide on July 22 after suffering business losses.

According to fuel traders, petrol and diesel is costlier in Punjab in comparison to UT Chandigarh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

There are 3,450 fuel pumps in Punjab and of them, 800 located in the border districts including Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib, Rupnagar which are losing sales because of the high rate of value added tax on fuel.

“800 fuel pumps in the border district have lost more than 50 per cent of their sales,” said Singh.

According to fuel dealers, Punjab imposes 33.40 per cent taxes on petrol and 19.77 per cent on diesel.

However, VAT rate in Chandigarh is 22.45 per cent on petrol and 14.02 per cent on diesel while in Haryana the tax on petrol and diesel is 25.25 per cent and 17.60 per cent respectively.

Petrol and diesel in Mohali are costlier by Rs 4.94 per litre and Rs 2.63 per litre respectively as compared to Chandigarh, they said.

The retail price of petrol in Punjab is Rs 82.35 a litre as compared to Rs 77.41 in Chandigarh and Rs 78.46 in Panchkula (Haryana), according to a fuel pump owner.

Similarly, the rate of diesel in Punjab is Rs 75.54 in comparison to Rs 72.91 in Chandigarh and Rs 73.54 in Panchkula.

Retail prices of petrol and diesel are also dearer in comparison to what they are in Himachal Pradesh.

Fuel pump dealers sought from the state government to bring the tax rate on petroleum products at par with that of neighbouring states.

They were of the view that with reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel, the petroleum trade will revive in the state and would also lead to generation of more revenue. PTI

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