Meghalaya Cabinet regularises reduction of VAT on diesel and petrol

Shillong, Feb 17: The Meghalaya cabinet on Tuesday regularised the reduction of taxes for petrol and diesel and approved new rates of tax for the same.

It may be mentioned that last week the state government had slashed the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs. 2 per litre and again on February 16, reduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel and petrol.

“Earlier we had done it for Rs. 2 and on Tuesday we had revised the new tax rates for petrol and diesel so, both these decisions were regularised by the Cabinet,” Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said.

Sangma also informed that the mining lease holders of the state who are from the scheduled tribe category from now on will have to pay 100 percent for the stamp duties.

The Chief Minister informed that in earlier times the scheduled tribe mining lease holders initially thought that they had to pay only 50 percent stamp duties.

“The miners’ earlier interpretation was that the mining lease falls under the instrument of conveyance. So if it falls under the instrument of conveyances then the ST and SC need to pay only 50 percent of the stamp duty but, that is not the case and the court has given an order that the mining lease stamp duty is not an instrument of conveyance and hence mining lease holders will have to pay 100 percent on the stamp duty,” Sangma said.

He said that the mining lease holders have been asked to immediately pay the rest of the 50 percent for the mining lease even as he added that the government is allowing them to pay half of it immediately and the rest of the half within March 31, 2021.

The Meghalaya Cabinet also approved the amendment of the Meghalaya Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2006.

Sangma said that due to the COVID-19 financial situation the government of India had allowed states to borrow an additional 2 percent and accordingly, the FRBM Act needed to be amended even as he said that an ordinance was passed to amend the Act to allow the State Government to take 5 percent of the overall GDP as debt which initially was at 3 percent.

The appointment of 45 Junior Engineers under Grade I (Civil) under Regulation 3(f) of MPSC (Limitation of Functions) Regularisations, 1972 for the PHE Department was also approved.

Sangma said that the 45 Junior Engineers needed to be appointed in urgency to have additional manpower to fulfill the target of the Jal Jeevan Mission.