All fuel stations in Rajasthan will remain closed on Saturday, except the ones run by the oil companies, in protest against the high VAT imposed on fuel.
The petroleum dealers are demanding uniformity of VAT with neighbouring states and also uniformity of VAT in all the districts of the state.
The president of the Rajasthan Petroleum Dealers Association, Sunit Bagai, said, “We have given a call of one day token strike to attract the attention of the state government. But, if the state government do not accede to our demand, we will go on indefinite strike from April 25.”
Bagai said the call given by the petrol pump owners would mean all the 7,000 petrol pumps in the state will not function. The pump owners will not go for refuelling of their petrol pump tanks from Saturday morning to midnight which also mean that some of the petrol pumps will go dry.
He said that the closure of one day of the petrol pump would result in the state government losing Rs 34 crore in revenue in the form of VAT and cess.
Bagai said currently there is 36 per cent VAT on petrol and 26 per cent on diesel which is one of the highest in the country. The VAT on neighbouring states is far less. While the VAT on petrol is 25 per cent in Punjab and Haryana, it is 30 per cent on petrol and 16.75 per cent on diesel in Delhi, 20 per cent each for petrol and diesel in Gujarat and 33 per cent and 23 per cent in Madhya Pradesh.
Rajasthan government raised VAT
He said the Gehlot government raised VAT by 12 per cent on petrol and 10 per cent on diesel. Recently, the state government reduced the VAT by two per cent, but it did not solve the problems of the consumers who have to shell out more as compared to the other states.
He said during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the VAT was raised by the state government by eight per cent on petrol and six per cent on diesel.
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