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Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that petrol and diesel prices would become cheaper from Friday onwards, with the state government withdrawing the additional cess levied last year at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic to revive the economy.
The announcement comes as a relief to commuters and public transporters as fuel rates had skyrocketed in the state. Currently, the price of petrol in the city stands at Rs 90.94 per litre with diesel at Rs 84.82 per litre.
In April 2020, the state government had hiked the price of petrol from Rs 71.61 to Rs 77.46 per litre and diesel from Rs 65.07 to Rs 70.50 per litre to generate additional revenue to meet the unexpected financial burden and expenditure arising out of the coronavirus lockdown.
“At the peak of COVID-19, we had levied an additional cess on petrol, diesel and liquor. Now, the pandemic has declined to a reasonable extent, the number of patients has reduced, and the need for COVID-19 screening centres has also gone down. The expenditure on healthcare sector has substantially come down. Hence, the state Cabinet has withdrawn the additional cess and taxes imposed during the COVID-19 period,” Sarma said.
“Petrol and diesel will become cheaper by Rs 5 per litre with effect from midnight tonight, benefitting lakhs of consumers across Assam,” he said.
Sarma also said that the additional cess imposed on various liquor categories last year, averaging around 25 per cent, has also been withdrawn.
In May, Assam had raised the excise duty on IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) by 25 per cent to generate additional revenue.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)