Having noted steep decline in number of customers, some fuel dealers and petrol pump owners in Madhya Pradesh have come up with a novel way to attract fuel buyers. These dealers are giving away expensive gifts to customers among which are washing machines, lap tops and air conditioners or even a brand new Honda Activa or Hero Splendor.
Not only are fuel prices rising steadily across the country, but particularly so in the state of Madhya Pradesh, where VAT is at its highest on both petrol and diesel. These added taxes make fuel in the state highest in the country. This makes truckers and commercial vehicle owners crossover the border to refuel their tanks in order to save some money. VAT percentages in Madhya Pradesh stand at 22% on diesel and 27% on petrol.
One such petrol pump owner, Anuj Khandelwal has announced that on purchase of 100 liters of diesel, a truck driver will be given free breakfast and tea. 200 liters of fuelling will get the truck driver and his assistant a nice lunch. On purchase of 5,000 liters, buyers could get a mobile, bicycle or wrist watch.
For 15,000 liters of fuel, buyers will be given an almirah, a sofa set or a 100 gram silver coin while on purchase of 25,000 liters, customers will be offered an automatic washing machine. Buyers of 50,000 liters will be given a split air conditioner or laptop while for purchase of 1 lakh liters of fuel, a scooter or motorcycle will be given as gifts.
Considering that the diesel price these days in MP is in the region of Rs 77 per liter, you will need to spend about Rs 7,700 for a free breakfast, Rs 15,200 for a free lunch, Rs 3.85 lakh to get a free mobile phone bicycle or a wrist watch, Rs 19.25 lakh to get 100 gm silver coin, Rs 38.5 lakh to get a free AC, and Rs 77 lakh to get a free Honda Activa or a Hero Splendor.
This new scheme seems to have already started attracting buyers at least where purchase of 100 liters of fuel is concerned while the state is yet to note purchases in the higher categories. The local pump owners are appealing to the State Government to reduce taxes so as to ease their losses. This is particularly the case with over 125 petrol pump owners in border districts of Shivpuri and Ashoknagar who have to contend with a price difference of as much as Rs 5 per liter of diesel.