City Reports

Petrol pump to remain shut in Jaipur on Sep 13 and Sep 14; Operators warn of indefinite strike

Over 7,000 petrol pumps across the state will remain shut for two days, September 13 and 14, between 10 am to 6 pm.

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September 26, 2023, 8:54 pm

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JAIPUR: Petrol pump operators in Rajasthan will protest against the state’s raised VAT on petrol and diesel.

Over 7,000 petrol pumps across the state will remain shut for two days, September 13 and 14, between 10 am to 6 pm. An indefinite strike is warned from 15 September if the government fails to act on the VAT issue.

Dr. Rajendra Singh Bhati, the State President of the Rajasthan Petroleum Dealers Association, said that Rajasthan levies the nation’s highest VAT.

He told media persons, “This has not only affected pump operators but also the general public. We’ve peacefully asked for a reduction multiple times. Although we informed the government of our intended shutdown from September 13, they remain inattentive.”

He added, “Initially, pumps will close symbolically for two days. In this duration, no sales or purchases of petrol and diesel will happen. If our demands are still not met, a complete shutdown will start from 15th September.”

Former association president, Sunit Bagai, pointed out a stark disparity in fuel pricing. “Petrol and diesel in Rajasthan are dearer by Rs 13 and Rs 10 respectively than in other states. Despite these higher prices, the state imposes excessive VAT on its residents.”

He also mentioned the financial implications of such rates. “About 270 pumps have shut in the past three years, and many are teetering on the edge due to losses. Border residents are crossing state lines for cheaper fuel, causing revenue loss to the state.”

Sriganganagar in Rajasthan now sells India’s priciest fuel at Rs 113.30 for petrol and Rs 98.07 for diesel. In comparison, Parbhani, Maharashtra offers petrol at Rs 109.26 and diesel at Rs 95.66. The lowest rates are in Port Blair, with petrol at Rs 84.10 and diesel at Rs 79.74.

Currently, petrol prices are above Rs 100 in 16 Indian states including Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and others. Diesel has crossed the Rs 100 mark in Odisha, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

First published: September 12, 2023