Over 400 petrol pumps and CNG stations along with auto rickshaw and taxis will remain on strike on Monday in New Delhi. The petrol pumps are on strike to protest against Arvind Kejriwal’s Delhi government’s refusal to cut Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. The protest began 6 am onwards on Monday, October 22 and will remain till 5 am on Tuesday, October 23.
The auto rickshaw and taxis unions are also on a one-day strike to protest against the Delhi government’s policies on cab aggregators like Ola and Uber, and the Centre’s rule on speed governors.
The Leader of Opposition in the Delhi assembly Vijender Gupta in a statement said, “It is the consequence of the anti-people policies of the AAP government that, every now and then, people are forced to come on the streets to demand justice. This brings the whole capital to a standstill.”
To provide relief from high fuel prices, the Central government announced a cut of Rs. 2.50 per litre for petrol and diesel earlier this month. It further urged state governments to match the reduction. Many state governments reduced the VAT by another Rs 2.50 per litre to provide a total relief of Rs 5 per litre to the consumers.
However, the AAP government in Delhi has refused to reduce VAT on both petrol and diesel.
Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) president Nischal Singhania blamed the Arvind Kejriwal government for loss of around 30% to the pumps in Delhi. “Because of high price in Delhi and low prices in states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, customers are deserting the petrol pumps in Delhi, leading to a huge drop in sales,” he claimed.
As the 400-odd petrol pumps and CNG dispensing units in Delhio remain shut in protest against the Delhi government’s refusal to reduce VAT on fuels, Arvind Kejriwal accused the BJP of “threatening” petrol pump owners to go on strike.https://t.co/yZv63kIvlm
— Firstpost (@firstpost) October 22, 2018
Mr Kejriwal alleged that the strike is politically motivated. “Petrol pump owners have told us privately that this is a BJP-sponsored strike, actively supported by oil companies.”
All India Tour and Transport Association (AITTA) chairman Inderjeet Singh, while supporting the taxi strike, noted that despite its several attempts to reach out to the government they received no response.