K Therie
Nagaland Pradesh Congress Party (NPCC) president K Therie. File image

The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on Thursday demanded immediate rollback of Covid 19 cess levied by the state government on diesel, petrol and motor spirit in the state.

Nagaland is reportedly the first state in the country to levy Covid 19 cess on diesel and petrol.

Additional chief secretary and finance commissioner Sentiyanger Imchen said diesel price in the state has been increased by Rs 5 a litre and petrol and other motor spirits by Rs 6 a litre as COVID19 cess with effect from midnight of April 28.

“In exercise of powers conferred by sub-section 3 of section 3A of the Nagaland (Sales of Petroleum and Petroleum Products including Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation Act, 1967 (as amended), the Governor of Nagaland is pleased to notify that in addition to existing rate of tax and cess, the COVID-19 Cess shall be levied against Entry Serial Number 3 & 4 of Schedule II of the Act,” Imchen said in a notification on April 28.

In a release, NPCC president K. Therie said imposition of Covid-19 cess on diesel and petrol at the rate of Rs 5 and Rs 6 respectively is not acceptable in the present circumstances as it will result in price rise of commodities.

He said instead of raising cess to increase the prices, the government should concentrate on restructuring the state’s economy to stimulate economic growth and check price rise.

In the present situation where the people have lost business and jobs, development activities halted, industries closed and farming activities affected, imposition of extra tax is nothing but adding salt to injury, Therie said.

The NPCC said the state government has passed a Rs 21,049 crore budget and this money is available with the government.

“In addition, the state government has received the state disaster response management funds and perhaps Prime Minister CARES fund too. We have also seen the North Eastern Council has released grants while the Centre is supplying PPE materials,” it added.

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