Commercial vehicle operators threaten to intensify agitation if demands not met.

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Dissatisfied with the adamant attitude of the state government towards the demand for an immediate reduction in the prices of petrol and diesel in the state, Commercial vehicle operators have threatened to intensify agitation as a mark of protest.

This was made clear during the sit-in-protest called under the banner of the Meghalaya Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicles (MJACCV) at Malki ground here on Tuesday, which is the seventh day of the ongoing indefinite strike.

The commercial vehicles have also rejected the state government’s decision to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.

“We have decided to continue with our ongoing indefinite strike. If the state government continues to be adamant, we would also be compelled to intensify our agitation,” Chairman of the JAC, Wandonbok Jyrwa told reporters.

He said a meeting will also be convened by the committee on Saturday to announce its future course of action and it will be attended by all presidents and secretaries of the different commercial vehicle associations.

The commercial vehicles are demanding the state government to either reduce the prices of petrol and diesel or increase the passenger fares besides reduction of taxes by 50 percent.

“We are also demanding a 25 percent reduction from the Rs 31 tax imposed on petrol and diesel,” Jyrwa said.

The chairman of the JAC further asked the government to cut down on wasteful expenditures which include the appointment of chairmen and co-chairmen instead of increasing the tax on petroleum products.

Also slamming the state government for its double-standard policy, Jyrwa said, on one hand, the government is issuing commercial vehicle permits to address the growing unemployment problem but the same government is exploiting them by resorting to such measures.

“The policy of the government has totally failed the people of the state,” he said.

Participating in the sit-in protest, the President of the Mawlai People’s Grievances Forum, Marbud Dkhar demanded the state government to immediately invite the JAC for talks and take steps to resolve this problem.

One of the petrol pump owners, Samborlang Diengdoh said that the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel due to unreasonable tax imposed by the government will to a great extent affect the citizens of the state.

“The government has increased the tax of diesel from 13.5 percent to 22 percent and for petrol from 22 percent to 31 percent despite the central tax being only at 18 percent. As a result, the prices of essential commodities, taxi fares and others will also increase and it is the people who will have to face the brunt,” he said.