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Fri, 14 Dec 2018

Northeast Today

Meghalaya Battling Financial Crisis: Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya Battling Financial Crisis: Conrad Sangma
October 09
09:29 2018

NET Bureau

Conrad Sangma-led Meghalaya government is yet to take a call on cutting value-added taxes (VAT) on fuel, at par with other BJP-ruled states in the region. The CM on Monday said as the government is battling financial crisis at the moment, the price cut has not been implemented yet. The Centre, last week, slashed petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre, following which 12 BJP-governed states, including Assam and Tripura, announced matching cuts.

“It is a tough call and we are taking a bit of time to ensure that we make the right decision after taking into consideration all aspects. The state is facing a huge financial crisis at present,” Sangma said.

The CM, however, expressed hope that a decision was likely to be taken at the next cabinet meeting as “people have been suffering due to the rise in prices”.

“A decision on fuel price cut might be taken at the cabinet meeting, which will be held in a day or two. We need to balance it out” he added.

Sangma also said that senior officials have warned him against the consequences of cutting VAT on fuel prices.

“The monthly revenue loss that the state’s exchequer will have to bear due to VAT reduction will be more or less sufficient to run at least one district for that same period,” said a government official seeking anonymity.

It may be mentioned here that Meghalaya had faced a huge setback in 2014 when coal mining and transportation from Meghalaya was banned by National Green Tribunal owing to various reasons, including unscientific extraction methods and illegal practices.

“Roughly the state experiences a loss of about 400-600 crores annually due to the ban,” the officer added.

SOURCE: Financial Express

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