Delhiites might be in for a fuel crisis on Monday as 400 petrol pumps along with CNG dispensing units in the national capital will remain shut in protest against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s refusal to reduce VAT on fuel, the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) said. The petrol pumps in Delhi will remain closed from 6 am on Monday till 5 am on Tuesday.
DPDA president Nischal Singhania said that since Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have reduced VAT on petrol and diesel, customers were deserting fuel pumps in Delhi leading to a huge drop in sales.
“The Centre had slashed the rate of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.50 per litre each on September 4. This was followed by a reduction of VAT by various states, including neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. But, the Delhi government refused to reduce VAT, resulting in fuel becoming more expensive than bordering Haryana and Uttar Pradesh,” PTI quoted Singhania as saying.
However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a tweet, on Sunday night said that petrol pump owners in the city have allegedly told him that it is a Bharatiya Janata Party-sponsored strike.
Petrol pump owners hv told us privately that this is a BJP sponsored strike, actively supported by oil cos. In fact, BJP has thrust it upon petrol pump owners. People will give BJP a befitting reply in elections for continuously inconveniencing people thro their dirty politics. https://t.co/S8pLZNbIOw— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 21, 2018
On October 4, fuel prices were cut by a minimum Rs 2.50 on October 5 when the government’s only second cut in excise duty of Rs 1.50 per litre and state-owned fuel retailers providing a Re 1 per litre subsidy came into effect. In BJP-ruled states, the reduction was higher as they matched the cut with a similar reduction in local sales tax or VAT.
Delhi, which did not cut VAT on fuel, still has the cheapest fuel among all the metros and bulk of state capital as it levies lower taxes. Mumbai despite reducing VAT on petrol still has the highest priced fuel.