Shillong: Fearing further hike in fuel prices in Meghalaya, social organisation Hynniewtrep Youths’ Council (HYC)  has written to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, urging him to take up the issue of hike with the appropriate authority.

HYC general secretary Roy Synrem on Saturday said the rise in fuel prices is increasing transportation cost across the state. This would directly or indirectly affect the prices of essential commodities.

He also said that considering almost every single commodity is transported by road in the state, transportation cost are embedded into all costs. This, in turn, will affect all the sections of society, especially the state’s farmers.

“At a time when the whole world, including our state, is seriously affected by Covid-19, it is a matter of great concern that the Central and the state government is burdening the people heavily by increasing prices of fuels through levy of taxes. The increased prices of fuels has a cascading effect on the prices of all items of daily use,” stated Synrem through a press statement.

Concerned about the hike, the organisation has requested the Meghalaya government to “take a conscious decision to alleviate the suffering of the people” by reducing the VAT on sale of petrol and diesel by 50% of the present rate of VAT chargeable.

“While international crude oil prices determine the cost of fuel in India, it is only one factor contributing to the rise in prices of petrol and diesel. The main reason for the hike in prices is the Central and state government taxes,” he said.

The HYC general secretary added that at present the central government was charging about Rs 32-33 per liter for petrol as excise duty and the VAT charged by the state government is around Rs 22-23 per liter of petrol.

For diesel fuel, excise duty is about Rs 31-32 per liter and Rs 13-14 per liter is charged as VAT by the respective state governments.

“If we club the two taxes together, it may be stated that the motorist has to pay around 55% and about 50%, respectively, as taxes for petrol and diesel each time he/she fills up the tank. This is the main reason for the wallet-busting fuel prices in our state also,” added Synrem.

It may be mentioned that on Friday the petrol price reached Rs 100 in the state.

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