Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio

Kohima: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday said that his government will soon review the high prices of petrol and diesel in the state, while claiming that the authorities in poll-bound Assam have reduced tax rates of fuel with “political intension”.

It should be kept in mind that the base price of petrol and diesel is more in Nagaland than that in several other states of the Northeastern region, the chief minister told reporters.

Replying to query on the high rate of petrol and diesel in Nagaland while Meghalaya and Assam have slashed taxes on fuel thus reducing the retail price, Rio said that Assam is going to face election and its government lowered fuel price with “political intension”.

Assembly poll is likely to be held in Assam in March- April and the state government on February 12 withdrew a cess on petrol and diesel, making the fuels cheaper by Rs 5 per litre.

The Nagaland chief minister said that since Meghalaya shares border with Assam, it also had to decrease the rates to stay in competition.

The Meghalaya government revised the tax rates for petrol and diesel twice this month, reducing fuel prices by over Rs 7 a litre.

Interacting with the media after tabling the budget in the assembly, Rio also said that Assam has two rates for petrol.

In Guwahati, the price of petrol is Rs 80.62 per litre while in Bokajan, an Assamese town close to Nagaland, it is is Rs 82.89 a litre, he said.

Rio said that Nagaland has always been maintaining fuel rates below its neighbours.

Compared to the base price of petrol and diesel in Nagaland, it is less by 50 paise in Assam and by 49 paise in Manipur, he said.

So, if the base price is taken into account, the fuel price in Nagaland is still lower than that in other states, he said.

Rio said that the state government has raised a complaint with the oil companies as to why Nagaland is charged more on the base price.

“We are pursuing the matter with them,” he said asserting that the government would take a call on reviewing the petrol and diesel prices in the state after the budget session of the assembly is over.

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