Chandigarh, November 5: Petrol pump owners in Punjab today threatened to go on an agitation against the indifference of state government for not heeding to their request of price equality with bordering states by reducing VAT to comparable levels.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday , Petrol Pump Dealers' Association of Punjab (PPDAP) President Paramjit Singh Doaba said, " As a protest, we will celebrate a ‘black Diwali’ from today onwards where all dealers will shut down lights from 7pm-7.30pm in order to wake up the govt.”
We are all losing sales steeply and bordering area pump owners are worst affected with a large proportion of HSD (High Speed Diesel) sales has also been lost to price difference, Doaba maintained.
In first half of this year , the HSD sales for Chandigarh has shown whopping growth of 78.10 percent as compare to corresponding period of last year. It is 2.3 percent and 2.7 percent for Himachal and J&K respectively. Whereas Punjab has recorded negative 2.5 percent growth, he pointed out.
Similarly MS ( motor spirit) sales for first half of this year has recoded growth of 19 percent, 11.6 percent, 7.5 percent for Chandigarh, J&K and Himachal respectively with Punjab witnessed 4 percent growth, Doaba said.
Interestingly Punjab has maximum 3451 retail outlets till September end this year. Haryana, J&K, New Delhi, Himachal and Chandiagrh have 2918, 506, 438, 395 and 42 respectively.
Punjab has negative 3 percent growth in collection of sales tax/ VAT on petroleum products from 2014-15 to 2017-18.
Dr. Manjit Singh, General Secretary of PPDAP said,” Year on year basis when we compare 2016-17, where revenue collection from sale of Petroleum Products in Punjab was Rs. 5,833 Crore, the same has been reduced to Rs. 5658 Crore in 2017-18 i.e. a loss of Rs.175 Crore. This has happened at a time during which retail prices has been on a constant upsurge.”
Chandigarh with just 42 retail outlet has shown phenomenal growth of whooping 78.1% (80444 MT) in diesel and 19% (45157 MT) in petrol in first half of this financial year, Singh informed.
Due to huge rate difference nearly 900 petrol pumps in Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Ropar, Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, & Sangrur are on the verge of closure, he remarked.
The disparity in VAT in comparison to neighbouring Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh has led to lower sales, also causing revenue losses to the tune in crore to the Punjab government, PPDAP Spokesperson Monty Sehgal said.
He further said the disparity in petrol and diesel prices has particularly hit the businesses of petrol pump owners in the border districts of Sangrur, Patiala, Bathinda, Gurdaspur, Mohali, Fathegarh Sahib, Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur and Mansa. Mohali is the worst affected as it borders Chandigarh.
Meanwhile as on November 1, 2018 , Punjab has VAT on MS and HSD at 35.08% and 16.65 percent respectively. Chandigarh has MS at 17.47 percent and HSD at 9.04 percent. Haryana has 23.37 percent for MS and 13.90 percent for HSD, Himachal has 21.71 percent for MS and 11.14 percent for HSD , J&K has 23.54 percent for MS and 13.19 percent for HSD and Delhi has 27 percent for MS and 17.21 percent for HSD.
The other office bearers of association including Ranjit Singh Gandhi, Treasurer, Ashwinder Mongia, GS Chawla, Shiv Jagota, Navneet Kumar Amit Aggarwal are Rajesh Khurana were also presented.