Pun­jab run­ning low on VAT cash

Oil mafia bring fuel from Haryana, J&K and Chandi­garh dent­ing state’s rev­enue

The New Indian Express - - INDIA - HARPREET BA­JWA

Pun­jab has lost D175 crore (3 per cent) of rev­enue col­lec­tions in 2017-18 ... This is at­trib­uted to shift of busi­ness, loss of sale and smug­gling

Ash­winder Singh Mon­gia, VAT com­mit­tee

DUE to ram­pant smug­gling of petrol and diesel from Haryana, Hi­machal Pradesh and Chandi­garh, the Pun­jab govern­ment is los­ing around `700 crore ev­ery year. Sources said that those con­nected with the oil mafia buy petrol pumps in neigh­bor­ing states such as Hi­machal, Haryana, Jammu & Kash­mir and Chandi­garh be­cause of the price dif­fer­ence, which ranges be­tween `2-4 per litre for diesel and `6-10 per litre for petrol. The mafia mainly sup­plies diesel to big in­dus­trial houses, bulk trans­ports and farm­ers. Petrol is mainly sold in ru­ral ar­eas. The mafia sup­ply full tankers (12,000 litres) di­rectly to con­sumers ei­ther from their pumps in other states or from oil de­pots by­pass­ing pro­to­col of sup­ply­ing fuel from de­pots to pumps. For re­tail con­sumers, the mafia have hired or pur­chased small tankers known as ‘Bowzer’, with ca­pac­ity of around 2,500 litres, which are fit­ted with so­phis­ti­cated de­liv­ery units. Chair­man of VAT Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee of Petrol Pump Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Pun­jab, Ash­winder Singh Mon­gia said, “Pun­jab has lost `175 crore (3 per cent) of rev­enue col­lec­tions in 2017-18 whereas other states have grown by 9-20 per cent dur­ing the same pe­riod. This is at­trib­uted to shift of busi­ness, loss of sale...” Shaleen Walia, As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner of Ex­cise and Tax­a­tion (Mo­bile Wing), Chandi­garh said, “In De­cem­ber 2018, we seized an oil tanker con­tain­ing 2,500 litres of diesel. A case was reg­is­tered and two peo­ple were ar­rested. We have in­formed the oil com­pa­nies, but they are not will­ing to take ac­tion.”

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