Kohima: The Nagaland government has decided to withdraw the steep 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.
The decision to withdraw the cess was taken at a cabinet meeting at Choumukedima in the Dimapur district, Kronu, who is also the government spokesperson on COVID-19, said.
Considering the need to give a boost to economic activities and taking note of the woes of the people, the decision to rollback the cess was taken, he said.
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Naga Students’ Union on September 19 had threatened to close down all the petrol pumps in the state if the cess was not withdrawn.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 for the rollback would be published on Thursday and is likely to come into effect from Friday, Kronu, who is the Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs minister, said.
He said the Nagaland was given Rs 27.84 crore by the central government for fighting COVID-19, while the state spent Rs 115.80 crore from its own resources.
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.