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Petrol pumps in Maharashtra go on strike

Petrol pumps in Maharashtra go on strike

Mumbai: Around 4,100 retail petrol-diesel outlets in Maharashtra went on a day-long strike Monday to protest against multiple taxes in the state, an official said.

However, around 500 petrol retail outlets in Mumbai have not joined the 12-hour strike which started at 6 a.m. Monday.

"The strike is total and we want to convey to the state government how the consumers and dealers are harassed unnecessarily with the multiple taxes. Due to these multiple taxes, petrol and diesel are the most expensive in Maharashtra as compared to anywhere in India, with Pune topping the list," FAMPEDA President A.S. Dikshit told IANS.

The Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers' Association (FAMPEDA) is strongly opposed to various taxes, including octroi, local body tax (LBT) and others which hike the petrol-diesel prices in the state by around Rs.5-7 per litre.

Dikshit said that Pune holds the distinction of having the most expensive retail petrol-diesel rates in the country with a difference of around Rs.7-9 per litre. "Why should the public and dealers suffer on account of the poor administration of the state government? Plus, after collecting so much money, where does it all go," she asked.

Some of the levies in Maharashtra include state specific charge (SCC) by the oil marketing companies to recover Rs.2,500 crore paid as octroi to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai for the crude oil refined at the Mahul refinery, though it sells the oil in other states too. Besides, there is the LBT which is already implemented in 25 civic bodies in Maharashtra, barring Mumbai where it is strongly opposed.

In view of the high taxes in the state, people living in the border areas prefer to cross over to the neighbouring states like Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh or Madhya Pradesh and get their refill which directly hits the business of around 1,000 retail outlets.

The FAMPEDA and other organizations have demanded 'one-Maharashtra, one-tax' regime to rationalize the prices and bring them on par with the neighbouring states.

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