Punjab petrol dealers threaten strike over VAT issue

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Chandigarh, Nov 5 (IANS) Petrol station owners in Punjab on Monday threatened to launch an agitation over their demand for reducing VAT to comparable levels with neighbouring Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association of Punjab (PPDAP) President Paramjit Singh Doaba said, petrol dealers will observe ‘black Diwali’ from Monday evening and the dealers will switch off lights from 7 to 7.30 pm.

“We are all losing sales steeply. The border area pump owners are the worst affected with a large proportion of HSD (High Speed Diesel) sales has also been lost to price difference,” Doaba told media here.

“In first half of this year, HSD sales for Chandigarh have shown a big growth of 78.10 per cent as compared to corresponding period of last year. It is 2.3 per cent and 2.7 per cent for Himachal and J&K respectively. Whereas Punjab has recorded negative 2.5 per cent growth,” he pointed out.

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Punjab has 3,451 retail fuel outlets while Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi, Himachal and Chandiagrh have 2918, 506, 438, 395 and 42 respectively.

He said due to a huge rate difference, nearly 900 petrol pumps in Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Ropar, Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, and Sangrur districts in Punjab are on the verge of closure.

“The disparity in VAT in comparison with Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh has led to lower sales, causing revenue losses to the tune of crores to the Punjab government,” said PPDAP spokesperson Monty Sehgal.

Among other districts, Mohali district in Punjab is the worst affected as it borders Chandigarh, he added.



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