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Nagaland Cong demands rollback of COVID-19 cess on fuel

By Correspondent

DIMAPUR, April 30 - The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) today demanded immediate rollback of the COVID-19 cess levied by the State Government on diesel, petrol and motor spirits in the State.

Nagaland is reportedly the first State in the country to levy a 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 per litre, and that of petrol and other motor spirits by Rs 6 per litre as COVID-19 cess with effect from the 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 issued on Wednesday.

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

He said instead of imposing the cess to increase the fuel prices, the Government should concentrate on restructuring the State�s economy to stimulate economic growth and check price rise.

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

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 the 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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