Khetia (Madhya Pradesh): The recent 5 rupees cut on excise duty by the Union government, followed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government move to reduce 4% cent value added tax (VAT) on both petrol and diesel- brought much needed relief not only for the consumers but also to the petrol pump owners situated on the inter-state border areas.
After long wait fuel in Madhya Pradesh become cheaper by a wafer thin margin compared to Maharashtra. Notably, amid record-high fuel prices, this is the first cut in central excise duties in over three years.
Notably, in Khetia village of Barwani district which is a stone thrown distance away from Maharashtra, consumers have to spend Rs 109.55 for one litre petrol compare to 110.77 per litre in Maharashtra, while for diesel, buyer have to spend Rs 93.01 for one litre diesel compared to Rs 93.53 in Maharashtra.
Many fuel station owners and the consumers claimed that though is very less difference for many, but for us it’s big difference as we are situated on the inter-state border area as people of Khetia and its adjoining village in Barwani district have some privilege as compared to other people in other districts. They can rush to Maharashtra at any time and get their vehicles refuelled thus saving good amount on every refuelling.
Khetia, a small village in Barwani district is the last village of Madhya Pradesh a portion of which lies in Maharashtra and is known as Khed Digar in Nandurbar district. The population is around 22,000.
The village has three petrol pumps: one of Bharat Petroleum and two of Indian Oil. Two Indian Oil petrol pumps are situated just 800 metres apart: one is situated towards Madhya Pradesh end, while the other one is situated on Maharashtra side.
Narrating their plight, Suresh Rathore, a resident of Kehtia said, "We live in vicinity of Madhya Pradesh where petrol and diesel is costly as compared to the area which lies in Maharashtra which is far closer to us. So, we preferred to visit Indian Oil petrol pump in Khed Digar situated on the other side of nullah passing through the village and buy fuel in bulk," Rathore said.
However, with recent excise duty and VAT slash, we are getting cheaper fuel here in Madhya Pradesh, so why we have to move Maharashtra?
Ram Sharma, another villager who has couple of four-wheelers said that every time he visits Maharashtra, we always get our fuel tank filled to the brim to save around Rs 70 to 80.
The difference in rates exists even though the fuel pumps are of same company.
Besides offering a shock to buyers, costly fuel was also giving tough time for petrol pump dealers, especially those in areas adjoining nearby states where the fuel is much cheaper. But recent excise duty and VAT cut brought much needed relief both for the consumers and the fuel station owners.