Insight Online News
Ranchi, Dec 21 : Around 1400 petrol pumps across Jharkhand remained shut as petrol pump owners went on a 12-hour strike on Tuesday demanding a reduction in Value Added Tax (VAT).
The pumps will not be providing petrol, diesel or CNG till 6 PM, Jharkhand Petrol Pump Dealers Association President Ashok Singh said.
The petrol pumps will, however, open after 6 PM.
He said the association has been requesting the state government over the past 15 days to lower the VAT, which would also be beneficial for the state, but no action was taken.
The closure of the petrol pumps gave a tough time to the people. Who kept wandering from one petrol station to another in the hope of getting the fuel. Apart from the passenger vehicles, the vehicles involved in the transportation of goods have also been impacted.
Ashok Singh pointed out that the association is demanding a five-percent reduction in VAT from the existing rate of 22 percent to 17 percent. He claimed that since VAT was less in the neighbouring states of West Bengal and Bihar therefore bulk buyers have shifted to those states. He said if the VAT is lowered, those buyers will return to the state.
He said different state government departments also owe Rs 35-40 crores to the petrol pumps which has been accumulated over the last three-four months, and this amount should be immediately cleared.
He said a mechanism should be set up so that every 15 days the payment gets cleared. Moreover, if the payment gets delayed by 15 days then the charge to be imposed by the banks should be also paid by the department concerned, he said, adding that the association is also opposed to spurious oil being sold in the state.
He claimed that the reduction in VAT will be profitable for the state government also. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the strike may lead to losses worth nearly Rs 10 crore to the government.