VAT fuels petrol bunks strike in Telangana
Petrol pump owners in Telangana state are gearing up to go on a strike against the state government’s decision of imposing Rs 2 VAT on fuel per litre while the government is contemplating to impose additional VAT in case of further drop in fuel prices. The commercial taxes department has sent a proposal to the government to this effect which has been referred to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for approval.
If approved, the fuel prices would be maintained at the current levels for at least six months, irrespective of price cuts announced by OMCs in future.
The petrol pump owners are concerned that their business would be hit as they have to sell fuel for Rs 2 extra per litre in TS when compared with neighbouring states of AP, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
With the AP government being silent on additional VAT, pump owners in TS fear that motorists crossing state borders would prefer refilling in AP to TS and the pumps located in places bordering AP and other neighbouring states would be adversely affected on account of higher VAT in TS.
“This is totally unfair on part of the TS government. Our business will be hit due to higher VAT in TS. Telangana state now sells the costliest fuel in the country, due to the recent VAT hike. The petrol pumps in TS bordering AP and other neighbouring would be worst affected. We request the government to immediately rollback its decision on the VAT hike. This is a matter of great concern, and we are getting several queries from many dealers expressing their anxiety over the situation,” said G. Vinay Kumar, general secretary of Telangana Petroleum Dealers Association.
He said they will meet the Chief Minister and the finance minister in a day or two and bring their concerns to their notice.
“If they fail to respond positively, we will be left with no option but to go on strike,” Mr Kumar added.
The TS government is coming under fire from motorists for imposing Rs 2 VAT per litre in addition to the already existing 31 per cent VAT on petrol and 22.5 per cent VAT on diesel, which is the highest in the country. The benefit of price reduction by OMCs is not being passed on to the TS consumers on account of VAT hike.