Not satisfied with Meghalaya Govt offers of Rs 2 rebate on the prices of petrol and diesel, Traders and NGOs on Monday expressed strong resentment.
A public meeting was organized by the Iewduh traders in collaboration with various NGOs at Motphran.
The Meghalaya Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicles (MJCCV), which is spearheading the ongoing indefinite strike against fuel price hike, also attended the meeting.
The NGOs who attended the meeting include Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), Hynniewtrep Achik National Movement (HANM), Jaintia Student Union (JSU), Mawlai People Grievances Forum (MPGF) and the Hynniewtrep People’s Federation (HPF).
Speaking at the meeting, chairman of MJACCV Wandonbok Jyrwa said that the committee from last night has decided to reject the decision of the state government to reduce the price of petrol and diesel by Rs 2 as this reduction is merely just divert the people from its original demands regarding the high tax on fuels.
“We will not accept this childish treatment of the state government to reduce the rate of fuels by only Rupees 2 as none of us are children to accept this small amount when at the moment the actual price of petrol and diesel has reach up to Rs. 90/litre” said Jyrwa.
Jyrwa said that the committee with the support from all associations in the state including with the support from various traders operating inside Iewduh and outside has demanded from the state government to reduce the tax on fuels by 25 percent from the current 31 percent which the government imposed on fuels. He added that as of now the state government earned about 31 Rupees per litre on fuels hence by exempting 25 percent the government can still earn 15 to 16 Rupees per litre.
“We are not satisfied with the reduction of only Rupees 2 on fuels as all commercial vehicles still have to pay full percentage of taxes to the state government even during the country wide lockdown” he added.
Speaking during the public meeting one trader of Iewduh Victoria Marwein said that due to the high tax imposed on fuels most essential commodities have become expensive and this has really affected all traders and in turn has drastically affected the common people.
“We come here to extend our support to the MJACCV as this high tax on fuels has greatly affected each and every one of us as now the price of essential commodities over the week has become more and more expensive” said Marwein. She added that it is a shame that the state government had asked commercial vehicles to hike taxi fare without consulting the common people who used taxis as means of transport.
When asked whether they will order closure of shops in Iewduh as a sign of protest, Marwein said that they will continue to open their shops until they run out of goods because at the moment they cannot procure new goods as all essential commodities have become expensive day by day.
Meanwhile president of HNYF Women’s Wing Betty Jyrwa said that if the state government wants to generate more and more revenue, it can do so by imposing high tax on truck plying at night all over the state because high tax on fuels have drastically affected mostly the common people of the state.
“Every night hundreds of truck are plying all over the state, why can’t the state government impose high tax on them, if the government continue to stay silent on this issue we will compel to start checking on every trucks plying through the national highway in the days to come” said Jyrwa.
Meanwhile, president of the MPGF Marbud Dkhar while criticizing the state government said that, the present government acts similarly like the tale of Robin Hood but in the opposite manner as it steals from the poor to fulfil the rich. He added that the state government should call all stakeholders especially drivers and public who are directly affected by the high tax imposed on fuels but the decision of this government to reduce by on 2 Rupees shows that the government does not have any concerns on the welfare of the people of the entire state.
“None of us get free fuels like them (ministers) hence we would like to send a clear message to the state government that we reject this decision of 2 Rupees and we strongly demand to reduce 25 percent from the current 31 percent of state tax on fuels” said Dkhar.
With regards to their demand, Dkhar said that if the state government does not agree to their terms of demands it will come a time when all will resort to road blockade apart from various means of agitation.