Nagaland Govt To Withdraw COVID-19 Cess on Fuel

The Nagaland government has decided to withdraw the sharp COVID-19 cess on petrol and diesel, state minister Neiba Kronu said on Wednesday.

The COVID-19 cess of Rs 5 per litre on diesel and Rs 6 per litre on petrol and other motor spirits was imposed on April 28, amid a crunch in the state’s finances in the wake of the lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kronu said that the decision to withdraw the cess was taken at a cabinet meeting at Choumukedima in the Dimapur district.

He further stated that the decision has been taken considering the need to give a boost to economic activities and taking note of the problems of the people.

According to reports, opposition parties, tribal bodies, civil society groups and student bodies have been demanding a rollback of the cess. Besides, the Dimapur Naga Students’ Union on September 19 had threatened to close down all the petrol pumps in the state if the cess was not withdrawn. The official notification is likely to come into effect from Friday after the final notification to be published on Thursday, said Kronu, who is the Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs minister.

Total COVID-19 cess collected from April to July is Rs. 10.32 crore, he said, adding that the August collections are yet to be deposited.

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