‘Covid 19 Cess’- daylight robbery, NPF demands roll-back

Kohima, May 01 (NE): The Naga People’s Front (NPF) calls the ‘Covid-19 Cess’- levied on diesel, Petrol and other motor spirit by the Government of Nagaland a daylight robbery and demands immediate roll-back of it.

A press communique issued by NPF on Thursday, April 30, 2020 said that the NPF is confounded by the decision of the PDA Government to levy the so-called “Covid-19 Cess” at the exorbitant rate of Rs. 5 on diesel per litre and Rs. 6 on Petrol and other Motor Spirits per litre.

At this pandemic period when the public, particularly the daily-wage earning of urban/rural people, is increasingly dependent on relief schemes and charity for daily subsistence, the PDA Government is adding extra-ordinary burden to the public.

In the case of a tax on petroleum products, the tax levied is paid by the public over a hundredfold because of the increase in cost of any produce that requires even the least bit of transportation.

The “Covid-19 Cess” directly abets the increase in the price of essential commodities by the Government of Nagaland which is an additional and inhuman burden on the Naga public, it added.

Moreover, it is also insulting when the public is aware that International oil prices have been at an all-time low since 1991 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, around 300% decline.

The NPF party demanded immediate roll-back of its decision to levy unimaginable tax on the petroleum products. Otherwise, this is nothing but daylight robbery on the part of the present PDA Government which cannot be tolerated.

For NPF, it appears that the Government of the day is trying to recover immediately the little pinch of free ration given to few daily wage earners in the name of lockdown.

The Government may seek justification, citing the preparatory cost being incurred by the state due to the pandemic. But the Naga Public must not be taken for a ride yet again by technical explanations and smooth abstract rhetoric, the party said.

NPF also reminded the govt that the preparatory period is over. Sufficient amount of money have poured into the state coffers for this very purpose. If Nagaland state is still not prepared yet, no amount of money will suffice.

NPF further said that, it is high time for the government of the day to formulate and implement policies that will relieve the public, even to the extent of subsidizing essential goods to the unemployed, the private-sector employees and the daily wage-earners instead of merely feeding a few of them for a few days, many of whom are dependent on the charity of NGOs, Churches or some benefactors, it said.

Govt turned a deaf ear on price rise;

On the price rise issue, NPF added that the party urged the PDA government time and again to check the price rise in the state for the sake of the poor public.

However, instead of paying attention to the pleas of the public, the Government turned a deaf ear upon the demand of the people, which ultimately resulted in sky-rocketing prices of every essential commodity, adding more fuel to the suffering public.

The Naga public never expected the present Government to turn into such a callous, merciless, heartless attitude when its people are suffering and under traumatic situation not only for the pandemic Covid-19 but also due to its day to day self subsistence, it stated.