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Hike in VAT due to financial crunch: CM

By STAFF Correspondent

DIBRUGARH, July 6 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today sought to justify the rise in price of various commodities by citing situation of financial crunch in the State.

�The Value Added Tax (VAT) has been increased keeping in view this financial position of the State. You know the financial condition of the State. The entire exercise has been undertaken solely for the people. Whatever is collected through VAT will be utilised for the development of the people and the State,� Sonowal said.

On the sporadic increase in the price of commodities due to hike in VAT, the Chief Minister said that tax has not been levied on essential items like rice, sugar, flour, lentils and other edibles. �I do not think the marginal increase in VAT will have an impact on the price of essential commodities. In the case of MRP, the customers are not required to pay the additional amount, the company�s will only pay,� he made it clear. The Chief Minister however, evaded question as to how increase in the prices of cooking gas (LPG) and diesel and petrol would not affect the common man. Sonowal was attending to volley of questions from the newsmen during his visit to the Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) here today.

Sonowal had a brief meeting with the authorities of the premier medical institute here before making a corridor visit of the Wards of Gynae and Obstetrics and Maternity department.

On the state of affairs of the medical institute, Chief Minister Sonowal said that lot has to be done for the improvement and modernisation of the medical college. �From cleanliness to modernisation, various steps have to be taken for total revamp. All irregularity, indiscipline, loopholes and problems of the patients

will be gradually addressed by the government. There is a need to create an atmosphere conducive to patients, doctors and visitors,� he said.

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