Haryana petroleum dealers suspend stir after talks with govt

Petrol pumps in Haryana resumed services on Tuesday after petroleum dealers suspended an indefinite strike against "non-fulfilment" of their demands including lowering tax on diesel by the state government.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 21, 2015, 13:53 PM IST

Chandigarh: Petrol pumps in Haryana resumed services on Tuesday after petroleum dealers suspended an indefinite strike against "non-fulfilment" of their demands including lowering tax on diesel by the state government.

The deadlock between dealers and the Haryana government broke last midnight after the state government representatives assured them of looking into the demands.

Under the banner of All Haryana Petroleum Dealers Association, over 2,300 fuel pump owners went on indefinite strike yesterday.

"The state government representatives assured us to look into our demand of lowering tax on diesel. We were assured that officials concerned will study the impact of hike in tax on the sale of diesel in the state in next 2-3 months and then appropriate decision will be taken," said Association's General Secretary, MC Gupta, here today.

"Therefore, we have decided to defer our strike. All the petrol pumps in the state have resumed their services," he said.

However, he said , if the government fails to resolve the issues in a stipulated time frame, then they will again go on strike.

Dealers further claimed that the state excise and taxation department would also look into their demand of not charging tax on evaporation loss.

A delegation of protesting petroleum dealers held a meeting with senior officials of state Excise and Taxation department to resolve the issues last night.

Haryana BJP Chief Subhash Barala and senior government officials including Additional Chief Secretary Roshan Lal were also present in the meeting.

Commenting on the strike, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar yesterday said that VAT on diesel was increased for maintaining uniformity among neighbouring states.
Consumers across the state were the worst affected as they faced inconvenience in buying fuel.

However, about 30-40 pumps owned by oil marketing companies, state government and cooperative societies remained opened.

Petroleum dealers were agitated over the alleged failure of Haryana government in keeping the tax on diesel lower than that of neighbouring states for the "survival" of fuel pump owners.

They were demanding that tax on diesel be lowered by 1-2 percent than the rates prevailing in neighbouring states.

They claimed that uniformity in tax rate on diesel in northern states will hit the sale of diesel in Haryana, saying that 70 percent of total sale of diesel is consumed by vehicles, including truck operators coming from other states.

Punjab and Haryana raised Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel on July 16.

While the SAD-BJP led government hiked VAT on diesel to 13.4 percent, the neighbouring BJP government in Haryana jacked up the tax to 16.4 percent on the commodity.