Chandigarh, Sep 2, 2019-A senior citizen and owner of two petrol pumps in Mohali – Seventy Five Year Old G S Chawla, has written a letter to Governor, Punjab and Administrator UT, asking for ‘permission to commit suicide’ after all his efforts to get fuel rate parity between Chandigarh , Mohali and Panchkula failed due to the adamant attitude of Chandigarh Administration. The upwards non revision of VAT by Chandigarh Administration, which was to be done, has in the last 22 months, resulted in robbing of 80 per cent business of G S Chawla, as his pumps are situated at zero distance from Chandigarh. Besides Chawla's pumps,petrol pumps in Mohali and Panchkula have also lost major business because of Chandigarh pumps.

A complaint against Chandigarh Administration in which the seeking of ‘permission to commit suicide’ is reiterated, has also been sent by Chawla to President of India, Prime Minister, Home Minister, Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, CM Punjab, FM Punjab, FM Haryana and a host of other important central and states government functionaries.

Chawla held a press conference to bring out in open the unfair practice of lower diesel and petrol rates at petrol pumps in Chandigarh. Chawla explained the collusion between Chandigarh Administration and Chandigarh’s petrol pump owners by showing videos and photographs of the impact of the pricinganomaly, which has made Petrol cheaper by Rs 5 in Chandigarh and diesel by Rs 3 per litre. Chawla said, “The area of tricity is spread over just 10* 10 Kms. There is something very fishy going on as billboards and hoardings are illegal in Chandigarh but petrol pumps have erected many which talk about lower fuel rates in Chandigarh and higher in Punjab. How have these been allowed?” Even in Delhi NCR there is a fuel rate differential of just Rs +/- 25 paisa , despite the area being heavily populated at 5 crores and comprising of three states – Delhi, Haryana and UP, Chawla said.

Chawla said, “The Chandigarh administration had lowered VAT twice after issuance of notifications by central government due to increase in crude prices. Once it was done on Oct 17, 2017 when a reduction of Rs 2.5 on both diesel and petrol was effected then again on Oct 4, 2018, Rs 1.40 was reduced on both diesel and petrol. Though all other states have gone back to same rates once crude prices stabilized, Chandigarh in a well thought out strategy aimed at looting business of Mohali and Panckula is still continuing with the same rates.”

Chawla further said, “The result of this anomalous pricing is that there are long queues of people with their vehicles wanting to get their tanks refueled at lower rates, which is adding to traffic woes, increased pollution in Chandigarh etc. Chandigarh Administration instead of providing a level playing field and correcting the price anomaly by increasing VAT and going back to original rates , which is the system across India, is mulling entry tax into Chandigarh, which is a retrograde and impractical mechanism. On one hand they are alluring people to get fuel filled and on the other they are levying entry tax. ”

Chawla said that Chandigarh Administration in collusion with some city petrol pumps, in a brazen and unethical manner, is destroying his business. He said that he along-with a delegation of Petrol Pump Dealers of Mohali & Panchkula under aegis of PPDAP (Petrol Pump Dealers Association Punjab) had met Advisor UT on April 5, 2019 and advisor agreed to bring VAT at par with Punjab and Haryana immediately after General elections but nothing has been done. Chawla said, the growth of Chandigarh Petrol Pumps Business in the past 2 years has been more than 300% as compared to average National Growth of 6% per annum.

It is noteworthy that GS Chawla's pumps used to be among the 'highest selling' petrol pumps of India but now his business is in ruins, due to a Chandigarh Administration policy , which aims at monopolizing fuel trade. Chawla therefore has been left with no other option but to announce his decision to ask for 'permission to commit suicide’, so that he is not branded a criminal, when he takes the extreme step.

Chawla summed up, “I want the Home Minister who is in charge of affairs of Union territories to take note of this wrong business practice under the nose of Chandigarh Administration and provide a level playing field by removing the pricing anomaly. The Home Minster is chairing an important meeting of senior North Indian state government functionaries on Sep 3; he should correct the anomaly during the meet.”