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   Petroleum dealers' agitations on May 5

The petroleum dealers in the state, numbering 1500, are up in arms against the state government's decision to impose value added tax (VAT) at depot level. A proposal in this regard was included in the current fiscal's budget presented by the state finance minister, Raghaoji, on the floor of state assembly in March.

A delegation of petroleum dealers called on the state industry and information technology minister, Kailash Vijaywargiya, here on Wednesday and urged him to take up their case to the state government. The minister reportedly assured them of taking their issue with the chief minister in near future.

A communiqué from the Federation general secretary Ajay Bansal said: “Various issues concerning petrol pump dealers were discussed. Most of the demands are being addressed by the Minister.”

There are 4,000 petrol pumps in the state that will be observing a day-long strike on May 5 against the VAT. In case, the state government did not pay heed to their demands, they may start an indefinite stir from May 11. Indore city is likely to be badly affected by the strike. On an average, 2.5-3 lakh litres of petrol and 10-12 lakh litres of diesel are sold off by the petrol pumps, numbering more than 80, in the city on a daily basis.

"It would be easier for the state to collect VAT directly from the oil companies. In that case, we also won't have to run from pillar to post to get all the procedures done. Appointment of full-time auditors will result in extra-burden for the traders," he said.

"We have already suggested the state government to directly charge the tax from respective oil firms. Such type of system already prevails in states like Punjab and others, he added.
Fri 20 Apr, 2012,10:02:46 PM
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