Congress asks Mizoram govt to slash taxes on petrol, diesel

Aizawl, Mar 2 (PTI) The opposition Congress in Mizoram on Tuesday urged the MNF government to cut state-level taxes on petrol and diesel to rein in spiralling fuel prices.

Mizoram Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (MPYCC) president Lalmalsawma Nghaka told a press conference here that the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by Chief Minister Zoramthanga had 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 not only hit those who earn their livelihood by operating vehicles, but also people in general,” the MPYCC president 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 the time when the Central government is raising fuel prices, the hike in taxes on petrol and diesel 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 the state capital is Rs 88.38, it was Rs 69.87 in June last year, he said.

The state government is now levying Rs 22.09 as tax on a litre of petrol and Rs 11.70 on a litre of diesel, he said.

He alleged that the state government hiked taxes on petrol and diesel under the pretext of improving the state’s financial condition but it miserably failed in fiscal management.

Noting that petrol and diesel were sold at reasonable prices during the Congress rule both at the Centre and the state, the MPYCC president asked the state government to reduce taxes on fuel as it was done during Congress dispensation.

He also asked the MNF government to urge its ally BJP at the Centre to bring down fuel prices.

Despite the MNF being a constituent member of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), it does not support the saffron party in the state.

Taxation minister Lalchamliana had earlier said that the decision to hike fuel taxes was taken in view of the weak financial condition of the state and the grim future due to the outbreak of COVID-19.