Meghalaya Cabinet takes a slew of decisions

The Meghalaya Cabinet also approved the appointment of 45 Junior Engineers in Grade I under 3F for the Public Health Engineering Department.

SHILLONG:

The Meghalaya Cabinet on Wednesday regularised the decision taken by the Government on February 16 to revise the tax rates for petrol and diesel in the state.

The State Government had on Tuesday announced a reduction of ₹ 5 for both petrol and diesel.

The reduction of Value-added tax (VAT) on petrol, which was earlier 30.62 per cent, was reduced to 20 per cent or ₹ 15 per litre. Whereas the VAT on diesel, which was earlier 22.95 per cent or ₹ 12 per litre, was reduced to 12 per cent or ₹ 9 per litre.

The price of petrol in Meghalaya was slashed from ₹ 91.26 to ₹ 85.86 and diesel from ₹ 84.23 to ₹ 79.13.

Furthermore, the Cabinet also regularised the decision to impose 100 per cent of the stamp duty on mining lease in line with a court order which states that mining leaseholders, irrespective of whether they are Schedule Caste or Schedule Tribe, should pay 100 per cent of stamp duty.

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“There was a court order that came up, that basically requires mining leaseholders to pay 100 per cent for stamp duty against the 50 per cent which was initially set."

"Earlier, there was an interpretation that mining lease falls under the Instrument of Conveyance (IoC) requiring SC and ST to pay only 50 per cent of the stamp duty,” Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma briefed media persons in Shillong.

However, the court maintained that the mining lease does not fall under the IoC. “All mining leaseholders have been asked to immediately pay the remaining 50 per cent,” Sangma said.

The State Government has allowed the mining leaseholders to pay half of it immediately and the rest within 31st of March, 2021.

Reacting to a question, the Chief Minister said that with this decision, the government is expecting an additional revenue of ₹ 27 crore.

Furthermore, the State Cabinet also amended the Meghalaya Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management (MFRBM) Act 2006 to enable the State Government to take 5 per cent of the overall GDP as debt from the Central Government.

“Because of the COVID financial situation, the Government of India had allowed all states to borrow an additional 2 per cent and accordingly, the FRBM Act needs to be amended,” Sangma said, adding that an ordinance was passed in this regard to amend the Act to allow the State to borrow 5 per cent, which was initially at 3 per cent.

The Meghalaya Cabinet also approved the appointment of 45 Junior Engineers in Grade I under 3F for the Public Health Engineering Department.

“The interview was done under 3F because there was an urgency to have additional manpower as there was a shortage for the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission,” the CM said.

Meghalaya has set a target of three years to complete this mission and manpower was needed but since the procedure through the Meghalaya Public Service Commission (MPSC) takes more than a year to complete, the State Government has allowed the PHE to conduct the interview as it was an emergency case, Sangma added.

Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie

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