Petrol pump owners demand 'one nation one rate' for fuels

The association of petrol pump owners, a national body representing more than 52,000 dealers in petrol and diesel in the country has demanded a uniform pricing of petrol and diesel across the country.

In a meeting with chief ministers and state finance ministers, the petrol pump owners 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.

The differences in VAT rates from state to state cause wide disparity in fuel prices across the country varying from 60 paise to Rs4 per litre of diesel and Re1 to Rs7.50 per litre of petrol within the country, he added.

Bansal said the maximum tax on petrol is levied by Tamil Nadu, which is about 35 per cent while Goa imposes the lowest rate of tax on the commodity.

In the 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 to be the same throughout the country, he said, calling for consensus among states on the issue.

The association also demanded that petroleum fuels be brought within the ambit of the goods and services tax (GST) to ensure uniformity in prices.

''We also demand that petroleum products be brought under GST to ensure one nation one rate,'' Bansal said, but added that states may not forgo a major source of revenue.

A delegation led by Bansal on Tuesday met Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa in this regard and sought the minister's support on the issue.

Petrol price in the state is the s3econd highest after Tamil Nadu and Dhindsa is reported to have assured the delegation to consider their demand to lower the tax rates. Petrol in Punjab is costlier by Rs6 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.