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Punjab petrol station owners threaten agitation over higher VAT

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Chandigarh, Oct 25, 2021- Petrol station owners in Punjab on Monday threatened to launch an agitation over their demand for reducing VAT to comparable levels with neighbouring Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association President Paramjit Singh Doaba told the media here the petrol dealers will limit their working from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November 7 for 15 days.

“We are all losing sales steeply due to higher VAT on petrol and diesel compared to the neighbouring states and Union Territory. The non-revision of dealer margins in the last four years and state-owned oil marketing companies offloading their expenses on to dealers are hitting the dealers badly,” he said.

Punjab has over 3,450 retail fuel outlets.

Association General Secretary Manjit Singh said nearly 800 dealers in eight border districts in the state are in extreme losses due to a drop of 70 per cent in sales.

Interestingly, fuel prices have gone up by nearly Rs 38 per litre in the past 18 months whereas the crude has risen to just $85 a barrel from $70 in January 2020, the pre-Covid levels, association spokesperson Monty Sehgal told.

He said the dealers across the country have been demanding rational increase in margins in line with price hike to stay afloat and keep up with increasing operating costs.

The association also threatened to go for statewide protest by closing down pumps on November 22. (Agency)

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