More than 350 petrol pumps in the district remained closed for 12 hours Monday to protest against levying of local body tax on petrol and diesel. The closure, called by the Pune Petrol Dealers Association for 12 hours, received 100 per cent response, with all the pumps closed from 6 am to 6 pm.
The shutdown hit motorists, many of whom were not aware of the closure.
“Even as there was a loss of Rs 150 crore, we decided to keep all pumps closed as we want this issue to be resolved,’’ said spokesperson of Pune Petrol Dealers Association Ali Daruwalla.
The dealers also met Pune divisional commissioner Vikas Deshmukh and put forth the appeal that LBT should be removed. Deshmukh said that he had received the appeal and would forward the same to the respective department.
The LBT issue in the Pune Cantonment Area too was discussed, with PMC officer Vilas Kanade stating that he has
categorically asked oil companies to collect LBT only within PMC areas.
A few of the company-operated pumps in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad witnessed long queues of vehicles. Many commuters said they were not aware of the shutdown.
Meanwhile, Daruwalla, who has been spearheading the campaign to remove LBT from Cantonment areas, has met the ministers and is hopeful that things will fall in place soon.
According to the petrol dealers, levying LBT on petrol and diesel only increases the price. Daruwalla said that as per a 1955 government resolution, petrol and diesel fall under the ambit of the Essential Commodities Act and LBT cannot be levied on these fuels.
At present, the petrol pumps are already paying 15 per cent excise, 25 per cent excise value added tax, two per cent octroi and Re 1 education cess on every litre of petrol.
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