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Cannot reduce fuel prices, will impact revenue: Meghalaya CM

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Shillong, Nov 3: While fear lingers among the citizens of Meghalaya over prices of essential commodities lightly to increase due to the fuel price hike, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on November 3 said it will be very difficult for the state government to further reduce the tax on petrol and diesel after the state’s revenue was hit by over Rs 100 crore during the current financial year.

“As of now, it will be very difficult for us to move forward keeping in mind that already we are the lowest in the country and already we have been hit by over Rs 100 crore of revenue in this financial year.”

Replying to a query if the state government is considering reducing the value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel in Sangma said that after the government reduced the taxes percentage, the state’s revenue compared to last year’s Rs 550 crore plus is today at Rs 400 crore.

“So after we reduced the taxes last time because of the pressure that was from the public, the state government has lost Rs 100 crore revenue. Therefore, it was not a simple decision for us to take right now,” he said.

He added this keeping in mind that Meghalaya’s VAT on petrol and diesel is the lowest in the country.

Chief Minister further said even today, there are states that are charging up to 36 percent also so we are much less than that.

“Also keeping in mind the large number of expenditures that we had to incur – all these factors are making it quite difficult for us to find a way forward but we are still examining and seeing how we could move forward in this,” he assured.

CM Conrad to reduce overall taxes

On the other hand, the chief minister informed that the state government would soon approach the Centre on the need to reduce the overall taxes in the nation.

“We have also decided that we will move with the government of India and request if they could reduce the excise and taxes overall in the nation keeping in mind the higher rates right now. From that angle also we are exploring the possibility of approaching the government of India in that aspect,” he said.

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