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Fuel price to be cheaper than Assam in Meghalaya, says Dy CM

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Shillong, Feb 14: Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong has assured that the NPP-led MDA government will ensure that prices of petrol and diesel in the state will be much cheaper than neighbouring Assam.

While appealing to the agitating commercial vehicles to call off their indefinite strike, Tynsong also warned that the government may be forced to issue additional permits to vehicles that are willing to provide services to the people.

“Taking into consideration the international prices of petrol and diesel keep on rising, we have to adjust and ensure that the prices of petrol and diesel in Meghalaya will be much lesser than Assam. This was the practice from before, so we will make sure that the petrol/diesel prices will be much cheaper than that of Assam,” he told reporters.

The deputy chief minister informed that the government is likely to sit next week and take a final call on this matter.

“Most likely we are going to sit next week and discuss how we can further reduce the prices of petrol and diesel in the state,” he said.

Asked, Tynsong said “We have not imposed any COVID cess as alleged. What we have done is we have reduced the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2 and we are still examining the matter if we could further reduce the prices of petrol/diesel.”

The Meghalaya Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicles (MJACCV), which spearheaded the indefinite strike, has been demanding the government to reduce the petrol/diesel price besides 50 percent reduction of taxes during the lockdown period.

Appealing to the commercial vehicles to call off their agitation, Tynsong said the government is seriously examining all the points mentioned in their memorandum submitted recently.

“Not necessarily to call them for talks but I appeal to them that they should withdraw their agitation as the government is still examining their issues very seriously,” he said.

It is not necessary for you to go throughout the state to create awareness as we are clear from the state government on what needs to be done but I feel you need to withdraw your indefinite strike as it is affecting everybody including the livelihood of drivers,” he added.

On the other hand, the deputy chief minister however warned that the government may issue additional permits if the agitating commercial vehicles are not cooperating with the government.

“I am warning them beforehand that the state government has got many options if they don’t cooperate. We can issue permits to vehicles that are ready to provide service, it can be done that way. That is why I appeal to them to immediately call off their indefinite strike,” he said.

Tynsong also informed that the government has asked the district administration to invite the JAC for discussion.

Terming the allegation on education cess as childish, the deputy CM said that the teachers should not be emotional about this.

“The state government while collecting the cess, to say that we pocketed it, that is wrong. They should understand that this money is for the public and not to be misled that it is going to me or a minister or anybody,” he said.

“Only from this (petrol/diesel), cess being collected is around Rs 300 – 400 crore. You should also know that the budget only for the education sector is around Rs 1,200 crore. Therefore, they should not just allege. RTI is there, go to the concerned directorate, you will get all the details. Apart from that, we also have to provide the account annually which has to be laid and approved in the House and it ultimately becomes a public property. But to just throw allegations is so childish as everything is there in black and white,” Tynsong asserted.

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