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NPCC begins 10-day agitation against fuel price hike

Congress protest

Will submit representation to Governor demanding an Independent Pricing Commission

DIMAPUR/KOHIMA, JULY 7: Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) President K Therie on Wednesday claimed that Nagaland Government is “not worried at all about public economy”, and there is a need to rescue the poor and common people as they are being ‘legally and illegally extorted’ in the State.


Speaking to Nagaland Page on the sidelines of a party meeting held on Wednesday morning at District Congress Committee Office, Dimapur, to chart the details of its proposed 10-day protest against the hikes in prices of diesel, petrol and LPG cylinders starting July 7, Therie said that the party is demanding the rollback of Excise duty and VAT to the level of 2014 as well as elimination of COVID cess.
It may be mentioned that Excise duty on petrol was around Rs 9 per litre and diesel was around Rs 3 per litre in 2014. The Excise duty on both has now been increased to more than Rs 30 per litre.
The protest, which is already underway on social media platforms and via a signature campaign, will commence offline on July 9 with the party making its presence at petrol pumps and important locations.
According to the plan, banners and posters will be displayed at these locations and stickers will be distributed among vehicle owners willing to receive, demanding the rollback. Signatures will also be collected.


On July 16, a memorandum will be submitted to the Governor of Nagaland to constitute an “Independent Pricing Commission” headed by a High Court Judge to streamline the essential commodities’ rates.
The memorandum will also carry the demand of the formation of a High Powered Committee to ‘streamline extortions’ and apply Society Registration Act (SRA) 1860.
Therie explained that under SRA, everybody can form a society and fees are collected yearly, not frequently and there is no forced contribution/donation as all these impact the prices of the essentials.
He mentioned that in the name of “memorandum of association”, people are being made to pay to a large number of groups and it can be seen everywhere in the State ~ collectors are collecting money from trucks, shops and autorickshaws.
Later, interacting with the party members, he said that the ruling Government might not heed to the demands of the Opposition, but the whole point of the protest and signature campaign is to highlight that these are indeed public demands.

He also demanded that the subsidy on LPG and kerosene should be restored.
Rajesh Kr Sethi, Chairman of Minority Department of NPCC, told Nagaland Page that the party, spearheaded by the Minority Department, will also organise a cycle rally in Dimapur on July 12 in protest of the price hike ~ starting from the party office at 9 a.m.
During the rally, the party workers will cover Church Road, NRL petrol pump at City Tower, Dhobinala and GS Road.
‘State Government equally responsible’
At Kohima, NPCC Working President Khriedi Theunuo launched the protest at Congress Bhavan here.
In his address, Theunuo said that the general public is suffering immensely due to the unprecedented hike of prices of essential commodities, including petrol and diesel amid the impact of COVID pandemic.
He said that the Government of the day should be considerate towards the welfare of the people but has been ignoring the plight of the common people.
Hike of petroleum products is the root behind unprecedented increase of prices of essential commodities, he said.
While hike in petroleum depends on firming international oil trends, Nagaland Government is equally responsible for the price rise because of the high rates of State Taxes on petroleum which is also affecting the people, said Theunuo.


In Nagaland, the prices of diesel and petrol are rising daily and have reached Rs 100 per litre in every district leading to huge price hikes, he said.
The NPCC leader said that as a national political party, Congress will not remain mute but continue to take up the cause of the people.
He expressed hope that the campaign will spread awareness among the public to join the movement for the welfare of common people.
Saying that AICC aims to reach 3 crore households across the country as part of its signature campaign, he said Nagaland will also be a part of it.
Kohima District Congress Committee president Kevi Vizo said Congress volunteers would put up posters and banners in all petrol pumps and strategic locations at the State capital.
He also said that the signature campaign will also be carried out down to the level of the Assembly Constituency Congress Committee and they would go door-to-door and set up roadside campaigns requesting the general public to join the campaign.


30 price hikes in 2 months
Meanwhile, in a press release, the NPCC informed that it joined the rest of the country in launching an “agitational programme” against unprecedented rise in prices of essential commodities and petro-diesel.
The agitation from July 7 to 17 will witness a series of protests against what it stated was the blatant apathy of Modi Government towards the plight of the people.
“In the last two months alone, the Government has hiked fuel prices on over 30 occasions and in more than 200 cities, prices of petrol have crossed Rs 100 per litre. The Modi Government charges Rs 32.90 per litre Excise on petrol and Rs 31.80 per litre on diesel. The Government has earned over Rs 22 lakh crore in last 7 years by imposing high Excise duty on petrol and diesel. Similarly, prices of edible oils have nearly doubled in last 6 months and prices of pulses have seen an unprecedented rise.
“Every household item has seen quantum jump in prices. Moved by the plight of people already suffering on account of pandemic, rampant unemployment and job losses, the Congress Party has launched a nationwide campaign demanding rollback in prices of petrol and diesel and check spiralling price increase of essential commodities that is going out of reach of common man”, it stated.
(Page News Service)

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