Petrol filling stations across Rajasthan, barring privately-owned and operated pumps, began an indefinite strike from 6 am today, demanding a reduction in Value-Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
The Rajasthan Petroleum Dealers’ Association (RPDYA) has called the strike, citing the state’s high VAT on fuel as compared to neighboring states. Rajasthan has the highest VAT on petrol and diesel in the country, at 31.04% and 19.30%, respectively.
In comparison, Haryana has a VAT of 18.20% on petrol and 16% on diesel, while Punjab and Gujarat have the lowest VAT on fuel, at 13.77% and 9.92%, respectively.
Petrol pump operators in Rajasthan say that the high VAT is leading to a loss in revenue, as people are filling their tanks in neighboring states before coming to Rajasthan. They also argue that the high VAT is making fuel unaffordable for consumers.
The association held a brief, symbolic strike on Wednesday and Thursday to urge the Rajasthan government to equalize VAT on petrol and diesel, as is the case in Punjab.
“The executive meeting of the association was held on Thursday evening. In this, the association unanimously decided to hold a statewide indefinite strike from 6 am on September 15,” the RPDA statement said.
Petrol in Ganganagar, Rajasthan, is priced at Rs 112 per litre, while diesel is priced at Rs 97.58 per litre. Rajasthan has a total of 6,712 petrol pumps.
The RPDYA has called on the Rajasthan government to reduce the VAT on petrol and diesel to match that of neighboring states. If the government does not comply, the RPDYA has warned that it will continue the strike indefinitely.