Rajasthan: 3,500 petrol pumps protest against VAT hike

Rajasthan: 3,500 petrol pumps protest against VAT hike

A notice is stuck on a closed petrol pump during a strike called by Rajasthan Pump Dealers Association against VAT rate, in Beawar. (PTI Photo)

About 3,500 petrol pumps in Rajasthan remained shut on Wednesday to protest against the increase in VAT (Value Added Tax) on petroleum products in the state.

The Rajasthan Petrol Diesel Association had called for a 24-hour shutdown to protest against the increase in VAT. The petrol pumps will remain closed from 6 am on Wednesday to 6 am on Thursday.

"Around 3,500 petrol pumps out of 4,000 supported the strike across the state. Nearly 1,28,000 litre of oil did not sell due to the strike, which caused Rs 25 crore revenue loss to the state," Rajasthan Petrol Diesel Association President Sunit Bagai said.

 In July, the Congress government in the state had reversed the Vasundhara Raje government's decision to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel by 4 per cent.

The Raje government had brought down VAT rate on petrol to 26 per cent from 30 per cent, and on diesel to 18 per cent from 22 per cent.

In the general budget, the Centre had announced a hike of Re 1 per litre in excise duty and road cess.

Following the hike, the state government, through a notification on July 6, the increased VAT rate on petrol to 30 per cent from 26 per cent and on diesel to 22 per cent from 18 per cent.

Currently, petrol and diesel prices in the state are higher by Rs 5-9 per litre compared with neighbouring states