Nearly 1400 petrol pumps in Jharkhand shut as dealers demand VAT reduction

Ranchi: Over their demand for reduction in VAT the Jharkhand Petrol Pump Dealers Association has gone a one day strike as a result of which nearly 1400 petrol pumps are shut across the state.

The pumps did not provide petrol, diesel or CNG till 6 PM in the evening. President of the Association Ashok Singh said that petrol pumps were opened after 6 PM for the people.

He said that the association over the last 15 days had been requesting the state government to lower the VAT which will be also beneficial for the state government but unfortunately no action was taken over their demands as a result of which the association was forced to go on a strike.

The closure of the petrol pumps has given tough time to the people who are wandering from one petrol station to another in hope of getting the petrol. Apart from the passenger vehicles, the vehicles involved in the transportation of goods have been impacted.

Ashok Singh further pointed that the association is demanding that the VAT be reduced by 5 percent from the existing 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 that if the VAT will be reduced those buyers will return to the state.

He said that different departments of the state government also owe Rs 35- 40 crores to the petrol pumps which has been accumulated for the last three-four months which should be immediately cleared.

He said that a routine should be fixed 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 a reduction in VAT will be profitable for the state government also. Meanwhile, it is estimated that one day strike called by the association may lead to losses worth nearly Rs 10 crore to the government.

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