Petrol pumps to remain closed on Monday

Protesting against the government’s decision to levy Local Body Tax on petrol and diesel,350-odd gas stations will remain closed in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas on Monday.

Written by Express News Service | Published: March 31, 2013 1:43 am

Protesting against the government’s decision to levy Local Body Tax (LBT) on petrol and diesel,350-odd gas stations will remain closed in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas on Monday.

“Levying LBT on petrol and diesel will make them way costlier. The price of petrol and diesel will go up by Rs 1.5 per litre in PMC and PCMC limits,” spokesperson Pune Petrol Dealers’ Association Ali Daruwala.

He said the association leaders got to know about the government’s decision to levy a four per cent LBT on diesel and petrol from representatives of Poona Merchants’ Chamber during a recent meeting.

Accordingly on Saturday,the petrol dealers’ body sent memoranda to the district collector,Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioners as well as the police commissioner informing them that petrol pumps in these two areas will remain closed on the first working day of the week.

Daruwala said that if the prices of fuel increased within the city,the tendency among people to purchase fuel at stations located on highways and outside the city limits will increase. This would lead to a financial crisis for the dealers in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

“Besides,this will have a spiraling effect on all other commodities including grains,vegetables and other goods of daily use,” he said.

Questioning the logic in levying additional taxes on fuel,Daruwala said that fuel prices were in any case increasing every month and reached new highs. This would put additional pressure on the people as well as the fuel dealers.

“Price of diesel has been deregulated and will keep increasing by about 50paise to one rupee per litre every month for over a a period of one year. If a four per cent LBT is added to it,the cost will rise even more,impacting consumers directly,” said Daruwala.

He claimed that the state government had previously clarified through a circular that LBT will not be levied on essential commodities. “Petrol and diesel is covered under the Essential Commodities Act and LBT cannot be levied on these fuels,” he said.

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