With the state government on Sunday responding to petrol dealers’ demand of abolishing local body tax (LBT) on petrol and diesel, the dealers called off their state-wide strike that was scheduled for Monday. In a communication late Sunday evening, the government apparently assured the dealers that the LBT on petrol and diesel will be abolished from October 6.
“The government has verbally communicated its decision to us and we are also expecting a written communication soon. However, as the date for abolition of LBT has come from the CM’s office, we have decided to call off the strike,’’ said Ali Daruwala, spokesperson, Pune Petrol Dealers Association.
Daruwala said Pune petrol dealer’s meeting on Sunday had unanimously decided to close all the Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad petrol pumps on Monday in response to the strike call by the Federation of Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association.
As part of the strike, all the 350 pumps in the city, Pimpri-Chinchwad and three cantonments were to remain closed from Sunday midnight to Monday midnight.
Ashok Dixit, President, Federation of Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association, said, “We have been pressing for the abolition of LBT but the government was delaying the decision. Earlier, we had put off the strike as the finance officials requested for more time to arrive at a decision. Even after the deadline expired, there was no response.’’
“Why were the petrol and diesel retailers not considered for LBT exemption?’’ asked Dixit.The petrol dealers said that after the BJP-Shiv Sena government took over, there have been eight price hikes and the LBT exemption has not translated into reduction in prices.