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Auto fuel dealers up in arms against multiple taxes

Nearly 4,000 petrol and diesel pump dealers across Maharashtra (except Mumbai) are up in arms against the recovery of multiple taxes by civic bodies and the state government. The auto fuel operators have spoken about the loss of sales they face due to the payment of sales tax, value added tax (VAT), Octroi, local body tax (LBT), export LBT and state specific cost. These multiple taxes, they argue, also lead to higher price of auto fuel in various cities and towns in the state.

Auto fuel dealers, under the banner of Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association (FAMPEDA), have come together to press for a “One Maharashtra One Tax” regime and have decided to observe a holiday on August 11 across the state to press for their demand. FAMPEDA has also appealed to the state government to abolish State Specific Charge (SSC) or reduce VAT by three per cent to bring prices at par with neighbouring states.

“Due to various taxes, petrol and diesel are costlier in Maharashtra by Rs 5 to Rs 6 a litre. Mumbai collects Rs  2,500 crore (SSC) as Octroi on crude. The finished product is sold in Maharashtra and other states. But SSC is levied on Maharashtra consumers only. Besides, 25 municipal corporations are levying LBT at the rate of two to five per cent,” Uday Lodh, FAMPEDA president told Business Standard. Further, Lodh complained that due to the high base of prices, petrol pumps situated in Maharashtra’s border districts are suffering a lot.

They are proving costlier when compared to six neighbouring states. The diesel sales have migrated and due to this, 1,000 petrol pumps have been affected badly. A state government official said that the government was in the midst of introducing a new tax to replace LBT. Interestingly, auto fuel dealers have received a major boost after the petroleum ministry upheld their cause. In one of the representations made by the auto fuel operators from Navi Mumbai, the petroleum ministry has called upon the Navi Mumbai municipal corporation to withdraw export LBT and rationalise VAT on petroleum products.

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