New Delhi : In what could cause inconvenience to the commuters in Delhi, all 400 petrol pumps along with linked CNG dispensing units will remain shut from 6 am on Monday till 5 am on Tuesday in protest against Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government's refusal to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel and petrol in the national capital.
Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA), in a statement, said, "The central government 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 bringing relief to their residents. But Delhi government refused to reduce VAT on fuel both petrol and diesel resulting in fuel becoming more expensive than bordering Haryana and Uttar Pradesh."
The statement further read that the state government's refusal to reduce the price has led to a sharp decline in the sale of diesel and petrol in the national capital in this quarter.
"Due to the difference in prices, there has been a sharp drop of 50 percent to 60 percent in sale of diesel in Delhi and 25 percent in petrol in this quarter. On October 22 all the 400 pumps of Delhi will neither purchase nor sell Petrol, Diesel and CNG in protest for reduction of VAT on Petrol and Diesel in Delhi," DPDA said.
However, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the strike was politically motivated and sponsored by the BJP. "Petrol pump owners have told us privately that this is a BJP-sponsored strike, actively supported by oil companies. In fact, the BJP has thrust it on petrol pump owners. People will give the BJP a befitting reply in the elections for continuously inconveniencing people through their dirty politics," Kejriwal tweeted.
On October 4, the central government slashed fuel prices by Rs. 2.50 after curbing excise duty on the commodity by Rs 1.50 per litre. The decision was backed by several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, which reduced local sales tax or the VAT.