Won’t be able to reduce Fuel prices for now: Meghalaya CM

Shillong, July 19: In view of the financial challenges faced by the state, Meghalaya government won’t be reducing the excise tax on Petrol and Diesel prices anytime soon, said Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.

He informed that initially when the COVID-19 pandemic, global prices of fuel went down and the government decided to increase the excise by around Rs. 3 in order to generate revenue for the state.

However, global prices increased and therefore, there was a rise in prices of petrol and diesel. “Yes, it is a bit on the higher side, but let us wait and see, maybe the global prices would stabilise and go down.

He added that keeping in mind the financial challenges of the state government, they will not be able to decrease the price in petrol and diesel.

The Chief Minister informed that the pandemic has severely hit the economy of not only the state but the whole country.

He said that when initial calculations were made, revenue collection in the first month of the lockdown was only 2 lakh. “But when the entire compilation took place, the numbers jumped up to certain extend but not at the level estimated, hardly about 40%,” he said.

He revealed that GST collection was hit by 40% to 50%, but added that state revenue is now stabilising, following opening up of more economic activities.

“During the lockdown, there was a huge stress in the farming community, on contractors and labourers. Now with economic activities opening up, we are seeing that things are stabilising a bit more. Revenue should pick up in the next few months,” he said.