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Petrol strike enters third day in Uttar Pradesh

Friday 29 December 2006

Politically motivated, says Samajwadi Party

People face harrowing time due to acute shortage of petrol Petrol pump owners reiterate their demand on reduction in tax

Lucknow: People in Uttar Pradesh continued to face harrowing time due to shortage of petrol as petroleum traders continued their strike for the third day on Thursday, demanding reduction in taxes.

Long queues were seen outside two petrol pumps that were opened in the city. Heavy police force was deployed to regulate the flow of traffic to these pumps that witnessed brisk business.

The Uttar Pradesh Petroleum Traders Association (UPPTA), which has called the indefinite State-wide strike, said it would continue its agitation till the demands are met.

The association has asked the State government to reduce taxes on diesel and petrol to 11 per cent and 20 per cent respectively as sale of fuel in petrol pumps in U.P. is going down due to low taxes in neighbouring States. ``The State government, it seems, does not have any concern for the plight of a common man; that is why we are not being invited for talks. We will continue our strike till our demands are considered positively,’’ UPPTA president B N Shukla told PTI here.

All the 4,000 petrol pumps in the State are participating in the strike with the exception of 35 company owned and company operated petrol pumps.

While the sales tax on petrol and diesel in Uttar Pradesh is 25 per cent, the tax in Haryana and New Delhi on petrol is 20 percent, and that on diesel is only 12 per cent.

Meanwhile, the ruling Samajwadi Party alleged that the strike was politically motivated. The party general secretary, Beni Prasad Verma, told reporters that the strike was actually to show the State Government in bad light ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled for early next year. ``Its election time...all parties are involved in garnering support and create issues with the government. Traders are also involved with that. It’s all just pre-election strategy,’’ said Mr. Verma. - PTI, ANI

See online : The Hindu

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