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Business News/ News / India/  Rajasthan: Petrol pumps start indefinite strike against high VAT; Centre takes dig at Congress govt

Petrol pumps in Rajasthan, barring privately owned and operated pumps, have started an indefinite strike on Friday, demanding a reduction in Value-Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.

The indefinite strike has been called by the Rajasthan Petroleum Dealers' Association (RPDYA). The dealer association said the VAT in poll-bound Rajasthan is higher than in neighbouring states. Rajasthan has the highest VAT on petrol and diesel in the country, at 31.04% and 19.30%, respectively.

The operators of the fuel pump in Rajasthan stated that the higher VAT has affected their business, leading to a loss in revenue. They said people are filling petrol/diesel in the neighboring states as the high VAT is making fuel unaffordable for consumers.

This week on Wednesday, the fuel operators started a brief strike to urge the Rajasthan government to equalize VAT on petrol and diesel like in Punjab.

More than 6,300 petrol pumps in Rajasthan remained closed from 10 am to 6 pm on Wednesday and Thursday.

Later, the RPDA decided to hold a statewide indefinite strike from 6 am on 15 September.

Also read: India’s August oil demand up by 2.5%, 2023 growth revised lower to 239,000/bbl: S&P Global

VAT at Rajasthan's neighbouring states:

Haryana: VAT on petrol (18.20%) and diesel (16%)

Punjab: VAT on fuel at 13.77%

Haryana: VAT on fuel at 9.92%

Union Minister Anurag Thakur took a dig at the Congress-ruled Rajasthan government regarding VAT on fuel. Thakur said, "Central government and PM Modi have given relief to the people by reducing that tax...The state tax (VAT) has been increased in the states that are ruled by Congress and the 'Ghamandiya' alliance. In Rajasthan, the condition is that there is a difference of 12-15 (for fuels) with the nearby states...".

Last month, petrol pump owners in Delhi held a protest at Jantar Mantar, demanding the removal of value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel and revising their margins on sales. Representatives of various dealer welfare associations of petrol pump owners from other states also participated in the protest.

The protesters demanded the removal of VAT, terming it "disruptive", and included petroleum products in the goods and services tax (GST) regime.

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Updated: 15 Sep 2023, 11:15 AM IST
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