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Congress slams Meghalaya govt for fuel price hike

The Congress also demanded the government to explain the rational behind the increase in taxes as people were still struggling with their livelihood after the pandemic.

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Shillong: Hitting out at the government as petrol prices crossed the Rs 100-a-litre mark in Meghalaya, the opposition Congress on Saturday charged the Conrad Sangma-led government with being “insensitive” towards the “commoners”.

The Congress also demanded the government to explain the rational behind the increase in taxes as people were still struggling with their livelihood after the pandemic.

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“The state government must explain to the people why the price of petrol has crossed the three-digit mark per liter as people are struggling with their livelihood,” Congress legislator Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh said.

The price of petrol has touched Rs 100. 08 per litre in the past few days while that of diesel had gone up to Rs 92.65 per litre.

Lyngdoh said the price of fuel wasn’t increased abruptly as at this juncture the international price of fuel was at its peak.

“So why has the government increased the price now and where is the extra fund going to,” Lyngdoh asked.

‘ Stating that during the pandemic taxes were levied on different items to meet the additional cost to fight the pandemic but now when the pandemic has subsided why has there been a hike on fuel,’ the senior Congress legislator asked.

Lyngdoh said the increase in price of fuel would have a cascading effect on different items as most were transported into the state through roadways.

Meanwhile, the Hynñiewtrep Youth Council raising similar concern said the central government is charging about Rs 32-33 per liter of petrol as Excise Duty and the VAT charged by the state government is around Rs 22-23 per liter of petrol.

Similarly for diesel, Excise duty is about Rs 31-32 per liter and Rs 13-14 per liter is charged as VAT by the state government.

“We are very concerned regarding the price of fuel in the state where the cost of petrol has crossed the three digit mark in the last few days,” Hynniewtrep Youth Council, General Secretary Roy Kupar Synrem said.

HYC expressing similar concern as the Congress has asked the state government to reduce taxes on fuel.

“The state government should take a conscious decision to alleviate the suffering of the people of the state by reducing the VAT on sale of petrol and diesel by 50 per cent of the present rate of VAT chargeable,” the HYC leader said.

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