JAIPUR : Petrol and diesel pumps across Rajasthan will keep their operations shut for 24 hours, starting October 23 to protest against the increased rate of Value Added Taxes (VAT), officials said on Tuesday.

Sunit Bagai, president of the Rajasthan Petrol Diesel Association (RPDA) said fuel pumps located in the border areas are on the verge of shutdown due to increased VAT rate.

"Petrol and diesel pumps located in the border areas of neighbouring districts are on the verge of shutdown due to increased VAT. Demand is continuously decreasing.

"We have apprised the state government about losses incurred by the fuel pump stations," said Bagai.

The shutdown has been called against increased VAT rate, he said, adding the RPDA has also demanded scrapping of road cess.

Bagai said if prices of petrol and diesel are compared with neighbouring states, it was 5-9 higher in Rajasthan.

Terming it a corrective measure, the Congress government in July had reversed the previous government's decision to reduce the VAT on petrol and diesel by 4 per cent. During the previous government, VAT on petrol was 30 per cent, which was brought down to 26 per cent while VAT on diesel was reduced from 22 per cent to 18 per cent.

In the general budget, the Centre had announced 1 per litre in excise duty and 1 as road cess. Following the hike, the state government through a notification on July 6 increased VAT rate on petrol from 26 to 30 per cent and 18 to 22 per cent on diesel.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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