Rajasthan News : Petrol filling stations across Rajasthan, except for privately-owned and operated pumps, initiated an indefinite strike starting at 6 am today. This strike has been called for by the Rajasthan Petroleum Dealers’ Association (RPDYA) to demand a reduction in the Value-Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
The primary grievance of the RPDYA is the comparatively high VAT on fuel in Rajasthan when compared to neighboring states. Currently, Rajasthan imposes a VAT of 31.04% on petrol and 19.30% on diesel, which is the highest in the country. In contrast, states like Haryana have a VAT of 18.20% on petrol and 16% on diesel, while Punjab and Gujarat have even lower VAT rates, standing at 13.77% and 9.92%, respectively.
Impact on Revenue and Consumers
Petrol pump operators in Rajasthan argue that the elevated VAT rates are causing a decline in their revenue, as people are choosing to fill their tanks in neighboring states with lower taxes before entering Rajasthan. Moreover, they assert that the high VAT is making fuel unaffordable for consumers.
The RPDYA had previously organized a brief, symbolic strike on Wednesday and Thursday as an appeal to the Rajasthan government to align the VAT on petrol and diesel with the rates in Punjab, where they are equal. However, after the executive meeting of the association on Thursday evening, they decided to escalate their protest by launching a statewide indefinite strike from 6 am on September 15.
Fuel Prices in Rajasthan
Currently, petrol in Ganganagar, Rajasthan, is priced at Rs 112 per litre, while diesel costs Rs 97.58 per litre. Rajasthan is home to a total of 6,712 petrol pumps.
The RPDYA has issued a clear demand to the Rajasthan government, urging them to reduce the VAT on petrol and diesel to match the rates in neighboring states. Should the government fail to comply, the RPDYA has warned that the indefinite strike will persist.