Mizoram Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (MPYCC) president Lalmalsawma Nghaka said that the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga hiked taxes on petrol and diesel by 5 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively, which came into effect from June last year.
“The hike in fuel taxes has greatly affected the livelihood of those who earn living by operating vehicles and also affected all the people as a whole,” he told a press conference on Tuesday.
He said the state government also raised the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of diesel from 12 per cent to 14.5 per cent per litre and that of petrol from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
“At a time when the Central government is raising fuel prices, the hike in petrol and diesel taxes by the Mizoram government has become a great burden for the public,” he said.
According to Nghaka, the price of diesel has been raised to Rs 80.70 per litre in Aizawl from Rs. 62 in June last year.
While the current price of petrol per litre in Aizawl is Rs 88.38, it was only Rs 69.87 in June last year, he said, adding that the government is now levying Rs 22.09 as tax on per litre petrol and Rs 11.70 on per litre diesel.
He alleged the state government hiked taxes on petrol and diesel under the pretext of raising the state’s financial condition because it miserably failed in fiscal management.
Stating that petrol and diesel were sold at reasonable prices during the Congress government both at the Centre and the state, the Congress youth leader asked the state government to cut down taxes on fuel as it was done during Congress.
He also asked the MNF government to urge its ally BJP at the Centre to reduce fuel prices.
With effect from June 1, 2020, the Mizoram government hiked taxes on petrol by 5 per cent and diesel by 2.5 per cent to fight the economic slowdown caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.
The state government also raised the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of diesel from 12 per cent to 14.5 and that of petrol from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
Taxation minister Lalchamliana had earlier said that the decision to hike fuel taxes was taken in view of the weak financial position of the state and the grim future due to the outbreak of Covid-19.