Srinagar: As the authorities have directed its officials to collect stamp duty from petroleum and LPG outlets, the Oil Marketing Companies, Petroleum dealers have resented the move stating that it will lead to further hike in petroleum prices in Kashmir.
An order issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Stamps, Kashmir reads: “In exercise of the powers vested in the order the provisions of J&K Stamps Act, SMVT, 1972, officials/officers are hereby assigned to inspect the records of insurance companies, automobiles companies, other government and semi government offices, educational institutions/ medical diagnostic centres, hospitals/nursing homes, gas agencies, petroleum outlets of Kashmir division.”
According to Stamps department officials, the stamp duty is to be levied on any bills above Rs 100. “We have started collection of Stamp duty as per the provisions of Stamp Duty Act.”
However the Oil marketing companies and petroleum dealers have resented the move stating that Stamp duty on petroleum is not levied in any part of the country.
A senior executive of OMC in a communiqué to Commissioner Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs stated “Oil Marketing Companies are maintaining supplies of POL products/LPG to our retail outlets and LPG distributorships in entire Jammu and Kashmir despite all odds. We have been informed by our channel partners in Kashmir that the Deputy Commissioner of Stamps, Kashmir has issued an Order 42 / 2021 dated 20.08.2021 from Dy. Commissioner of Stamps, Kashmir citing the stamp act 1977 and imposition of fines have started in Ganderbal and adjoining areas. There is no clarity of the section under which the same has been ordered and it’s applicability in the current scenario.”
“There has also been no prior intimation or consultation with PSU OMCs. Receiving such penalty notices has sent a panic message in the channel partners who have been law abiding and pay taxes timely. This has also lowered the morale of OMCs Staff/ Retail Outlet Owner/LPG distributor of Kashmir Valley and shall put a question mark on sustainability of their business model,” it added.
”We request your good office to kindly urgently take up the issue with concern so that Stamp Duty imposed by the Dy. Commissioner Stamps, Kashmir to our RO Dealers and Distributor in Kashmir may be put on abeyance,” the letter reads.
In a separate communiqué, Kashmir Valley Petroleum Dealers Association has written to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir seeking his intervention in the matter.
“We petrol pump owners are the authorized dealers of public sector Oil Companies of GOI Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India. We are not selling items on MRP instead are working for the government owned OMCs on commission basis and our invoices are included/inbuilt with all the taxes as fixed by the government of India and state/UTs from time to time. If your good self intends to levy stamp duty on sale of petrol/diesel then the right forum to execute it is through OMC as ultimately it is the customer to bear the same. It may be in the fitness of state that ;No such practice is in vogue throughout the country and not even in Jammu’.”