HYC stages protest against fuel price hike

The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Friday staged protest against the fuel price hike and demanded deduction of tax for petrol, diesel and LPG by 50 percent.
Activists of the HYC were hanged banners and black flags starting from Motphran to Khyndailad area.
However, they were prevented by magistrate and police officials from taking out a surprise rally in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The activists also hold black balloon protest as they alleged the state government of failing to address the issue that is affecting the people of the state.
“We demand deduction of tax for petrol, diesel and LPG by 50 percent immediately,” one of the banners read.
The others also states: “Why should the poor have to pay for the salary and perk of the political appointees like chairman, co-chairman, vice chairman and member of so many useless committee/board/commission etc,” and “Why should the poor pay heavy tax to make the rich richer”.
“We have decided to stage protest against this unprecedented hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. As on today, the price of petrol stand at Rs 101 – Rs 102 and diesel up to Rs 94 – Rs 95,” HYC general secretary Roykupar Synrem told reporters.
He said this hike in fuel price does not only affect rich vehicle owners but also the poor people including farmers who are dependent on public transportation.
 “If this continues, the commercial vehicles will left with no option but to increase their fares and the poor people and the farmers will be worst sufferers. Therefore, we expressed our concern against the government’s adamant attitude to the memorandum we had submitted before the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on October 15 for his intervention as we have not seen any steps being taken to address the plight of the people,” he added.
Stating that they understand the need for the government to impose VAT on petrol and diesel for taking other developmental activities, Synrem however said, “But if this is affecting the poor people then what made you to look only at fuel as your source of revenue. We feel the government should find other ways and means especially by cutting down unnecessary expenditures.”
“The present MDA government is spending so much in paying perks to many chairmen, co-chairmen, members of “useless” committees, boards and commissions,” he said while adding “We cannot believe that the Chief Minister alone requires up to four-five advisers, who are getting not less than Rs 50,000 – Rs 1 lakh per month, to advise him.”
He said the HYC has demanded the Chief Minister to find out ways and means to reduce the VAT on petrol and diesel  adding “If they cannot, the state government should take the responsibility to talk to the Centre to reduce the central excise tax.”
The HYC has also urged the petroleum dealers of Meghalaya to also take equal responsibility on this issue. “If other petroleum dealers and associations in other states can organize strikes, they should also come forward to do the same,” Synrem added.
Similar protests were also held in different parts of Khasi and Jaintia Hills.