Delhi: 400 Fuel pumps shut today, Kejriwal says its ‘BJP sponsored strike’

delhi petrol pump strike

New Delhi, Oct 22: Around 400 petrol pumps in Delhi are shut today in protest against the Delhi government’s refusal to reduce Value Added Tax on fuel prices. The strike that began at 6 am on Monday will continue till 5 am on Tuesday.

The protest was called by the Delhi Petrol Dealers’ Association (DPDA) on October 10, which was days after the centre decided to slash VAT for 13 states which are led by the ruling BJP. The association said customers had been flocking to adjoining states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to get access to cheaper fuel, something which the association said sharply dipped petrol and diesel sales in the national capital.

Criticising the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government’s refusal to address the VAT issue making fuel prices costlier in the city, the DPDA said it would also increase pollution in the National Capital Region as the quality of fuel sold in the peripheral states was inferior in quality.

The difference in prices has led to sharp drop of up to 50 to 60 per cent in sale of diesel in Delhi and 25 per cent in petrol in this quarter, DPDA President Nischal Singhania said.

However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleges it is a “BJP sponsored strike”

“Petrol pump owners have told us privately that this is a BJP-sponsored strike, actively supported by oil companies,” he tweeted.

He also accused the BJP of forcing fuel pump owners to go on strike despite oil prices being lowest in the national capital among the four metros.

Kejriwal also blamed the Central government for hiking taxes on fuel and questioned it for not bringing the fuels under the Goods and Services Tax.

“Since the last four years, the Modi government has imposed unnecessary taxes on petrol and not us (the Delhi government). Modiji should reduce the taxes and should give relief to the people. We demand that petrol and diesel should be included in the GST. Why has the Central government not brought petrol and diesel under GST?” he added.

Petrol and diesel prices at the national capital on Monday, stood at Rs. 81.44 per litre (a decrease by 30 paise) and Rs. 74.92 per litre (a decrease by 27 paise), according to news agency ANI. On Sunday, petrol prices stood at Rs. 81.74, whereas diesel cost Rs. 75.19 per litre.

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