Oil companies assure to look into the demand of relieving operators from being levied five per cent VAT

The indefinite strike launched by fuel tankers and truck operators from Sunday midnight was called off on Monday night, after oil companies assured to look into their demands.

Truck operators, particularly those transporting fuel of Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum had given the strike call demanding that the oil companies bear the five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) being levied on them.

The operators’ demand of being relieved of the VAT burden was sought with retrospective effect from November 8, 2011 till March 31, 2013.

In the past, operators were burdened with 14. 5 per cent VAT for transporting petroleum products but after a strong protest, the government slashed it to five per cent.

“It is now the duty of oil companies to bear VAT and not the operators,” said Rajiv Amaram, treasurer of A.P. Petroleum Dealers Cum Tank Trust Operators Welfare Committee.

This apart, a declaration was also sought from oil companies to bear the VAT in the fresh tenders. But without considering these demands, oil companies called for fresh tenders, resulting in additional burden on operators, he explained.

“The strike was called off after the oil companies cancelled the tenders and assured to look into the VAT issue,” Mr. Amaram said.

Loss for pump owners

Fuel stations owners, who purchased stocks well in advance in view of the strike by truck operators, suffered losses after the government slashed petrol prices by over a rupee on Monday night.

Anticipating that the strike would last for a few days, many pump owners in the capital had stocked up fuel in large quantities to meet the demand. But with the government announcing a reduction, pump owners have to bear the difference of price, said a member of Twin Cities Petrol and Diesel Dealers Association.

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