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Chandigarh:

 
The Petrol Pump Dealers Association in Punjab on Friday gave a statewide call to shut petrol stations on July 29 in protest against the state’s policies that led to higher taxes and decline in sales compared to neighbouring Haryana.

One of its members G.S. Chawla ended his life succumbing to the pressure of loss of volume due to price difference and huge revenue losses amid COVID-19.

“The onus of his demise lies with the government of Punjab, oil marketing companies and the Union ministry that failed to give ear to calls of the Petrol Pump Dealers Association Punjab to work for price correction and increase margins to cover up losses due to the pandemic,” said Paramjit Singh Doaba, President, Petrol Pump Dealers Association Punjab.

There are 3,451 outlets in Punjab and 800 plus border district outlets are on the verge of closure due to higher VAT rates in Punjab which results in shift of trade and smuggling of fuels in Punjab, he said.

Moreover, due to the lockdown during the pandemic petrol pumps have witnessed a huge drop up to 90 per cent in sales which has resulted in heavy burden on dealers due to the components of fixed expenses being higher.

“We are high turnover, low profits business and fixed expenses contribute to nearly 70-80 per cent from the fixed rate of remuneration,” said Ashok Sachdeva, Chairman of the association.

“We have planned to close down pumps in Punjab on July 29 in protest against the Punjab government and as a tribute to late G.S.Chawla who succumbed to the undue pressure of oil company and wrong policies of the state government,” said Monty Sehgal, spokesperson for the association.

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