State government raises fuel taxes

Despite fears that rising inflation will seriously affect the lives of the poorest people in Meghalaya, the state government today decided to increase taxes on petrol and diesel.

The cabinet today approved the measure, which follows a similar hike in neighboring Assam.

Prior to today, the government levies a 13.50% petrol tax of Rs 11 per litre, whichever is higher. While the former has not changed, the latter has been increased to Rs 12.50 per litre. This will bring the price of petrol per liter in Shillong to Rs 96.83 and Rs 95.10 in Byrnihat.

Similarly, before today, the government charged a tax of 5% or Rs 4 per liter on diesel. The first, again, did not change but the second was raised to Rs 5.50 per litre. This will now mean that buyers will have to pay Rs 84.72 per liter of diesel at the pump in Shillong or Rs 83.50 in Byrnihat.

Cabinet Minister James PK Sangma tried to justify the increase by saying that Byrnihat, which is close to Assam, would sell its petrol at Rs 1.92 per liter cheaper than in Assam.

“Despite the increase in our tax structure and the consequent increase in gasoline and diesel prices, we as a state are the cheapest in the whole country,” he added.