Fuel pump owners in the country have demanded 'one nation one rate' for petroleum products in order to eliminate disparity in prevailing prices of petrol and diesel. "We are demanding 'one nation one rate' for fuel so that there should be no disparity in prices of petrol and diesel in the states. This step will help in controlling prices of this essential commodity," All India Petroleum Dealers Association President Ajay Bansal said here on Tuesday.
He added that because of different VAT rates prevailing in states, there was a disparity in fuel prices, which vary between 60 paise and Rs 4 per litre in case of diesel and Rs 1 to Rs 7.50 per litre for petrol. Bansal said maximum tax on petrol is levied by Tamil Nadu state, which is about 35 per cent while Goa imposes lowest rate of tax on the commodity.
In case of diesel, Haryana charges lowest tax while states like Rajasthan and West Bengal levy 20-24 per cent tax which is in higher tax slab, he said. "We want the prices of fuel which is an essential commodity should be same throughout the country and states should build consensus on the same," he said.
The association, which claims to be a national body representing more than 52,000 petrol pumps in the country has been holding meeting with chief ministers and state finance ministers to convince them to bring parity in retail price of petroleum products.
Bansal said: "We also demand that petroleum products be brought under GST to ensure one nation one rate." But, he said, states are unlikely to agree on the same. A delegation led by Bansal today met Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa in this regard and sought minister's support on the issue.
Bansal said Dhindsa had assured the delegation to consider their demand to lower tax rate on petrol which was the second highest in the country after Tamil Nadu. Because of high tax rate on petrol in Punjab, prices of fuel in the state is costlier by Rs 6 per litre in comparison to that of in Chandigarh.
"Uniformity in VAT rates will lead to cheaper petroleum products to consumers and growth in tax revenue. And it will also cause jump in sale of fuel pumps located in the border areas which are now on the verge of closure due to high tax rates," said Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association President Sandeep Sehgal said here. Dealers also expressed concern over the looting incidents at petrol pumps in the state and demanded adequate security at pumps to prevent any such incidents in future.