SHILLONG, Jun 25: The Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC) on Thursday staged a protest against the increase in fuel prices in the country.
“While India is reeling under an unprecedented crisis due to the outbreak of the corona virus and the unplanned lockdown imposed by the Modi Government, the common man is bearing the brunt of this blunder struggling to make ends meet,” MPYC president Richard Marak said.
Turning to the State government Marak said that instead of helping the people it decided to let the people take care of themselves.
“There was absolute chaos in the handling of the situation during and after the lockdown, Marak said.
He also alleged that there was no planning in quarantining the returnees from other states, thereby risking the state’s population, no transparency in the testing and results, creating confusion.
“The highly publicised funds to be credited for citizens of the state living in other states nothing but a publicity stunt. What takes the cake is deferring the salaries of government employees and asking for donations and at the same time raising the duties on alcohol and fuel,” the MPYC president said.
He also stated that the state government must also answer as to why the excise duties in Meghalaya is higher at Rs. 33.14/litre for petrol and Rs. 32.42/ litre for diesel.
Marak pointed out that it is due to such high taxes that the prices of essential commodities, public transportation fares are becoming higher.
“With backbreaking taxes and high prices of essentials, how will there be any money left in the hands of the people. If there is no money in the hands of the people, the consumers, how can the economy be kickstarted? If the government says more taxes, then good luck on your Resurgent Meghalaya,” Marak said.
The state youth Congress chief also said that for those naysayers who think this is a political stunt, he pointed out that when Gabriel Wahlang was the president of MPYC in 2013, they did write a letter and approach the then Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma regarding the State taxes in the interest of the people and he obliged by lowering the taxes.
Marak said that in this present situation instead of helping the people, especially the poor, Prime Minister Modi and his government continues to loot the people of India by not just raising fuel rates on a daily basis but also refusing to share benefits of lower crude oil prices with people.
The MPYC pointed out that petrol has been hiked by Rs. 8.5/ltr in last 19 days and Diesel has been hiked by Rs.10.49/ltr in last 18 days.
The MPYC said that all this has been done when crude oil prices are at a historic low.
“Excise duty on Petrol was mere ₹9.20/litre and on Diesel, it was ₹3.46/litre in May 2014 when the Modi government assumed office but subsequently, they have hiked the same by 258% and 820% respectively. – The current excise duty stands at ₹23.78/litre on Petrol and ₹28.37 on Diesel,” Marak added.
He said that it’s a fact that, In 2008, when the crude oil prices shot up internationally the Congress-led UPA government kept them stable in the interest of the people.