Saturday, May 15, 2010

Petrol dealers threaten to observe every Monday as off day

New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) Resorting to protest against hike in VAT on diesel, petrol dealers in the city have called for a one-day strike on May 14 and have decided to observe every Monday as an off-day to cut cost.

''We will be observing a protest closure on May 14 on all petrol pumps while every Monday, starting May 24, will be observed as off day. We are doing this as we have been pushed to a very tight corner and have no other option,'' Ajay Bansal, President, Delhi NCR Petrol Dealers Association, said today.

The association had decided to go on a similar strike on May 9 also but on the assurance given by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, it was postponed.

The dealers claimed that despite a massive drop in sales figures of April 2010, no positive response has come from the city government.

They said they have lost substantial business to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh ever since the Delhi government hiked the VAT rate on diesel. While diesel in Haryana is cheaper by Rs 3.50 per litre, it costs 70 paise less in UP.

''Due to this price differential, a huge revenue loss to the tune of Rs 350 crore per annum will be incurred,'' Mr Bansal claimed.

In April 2010, Delhi sold 64,363 kilolitres diesel and VAT collected on this sale amounted to Rs 40.17 crore. In April 2009, Delhi had sold 105,903 kilolitres diesel and VAT collected was Rs 35.6 crore.

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