Assam Govt withdraws cess on fuel ahead of assembly election

Guwahati, Feb 12 (PTI):
Ahead of the assembly polls in Assam, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday presented a vote-on-account for Rs 60,784.03 crore in the House and withdrew an additional cess on petrol and diesel, making the fuels cheaper by Rs 5 per litre.
He also proposed to remove an additional cess of around 25 per cent imposed on alcoholic beverages in the last year.
“Speaker sir, at the peak of COVID-19, we had levied additional cess on petrol, diesel and liquor. Now, the number of patients has reduced… I am grateful to my cabinet colleagues who agreed to my proposal to rescind this additional cess. Hence, petrol and diesel will become cheaper by Rs 5 per litre with effect from Saturday, benefiting lakhs of consumers across Assam,” Sarma said in his speech.
The finance minister presented the vote-on-account for an aggregate expenditure of Rs 60,784.03 crore for the first six months of the current fiscal.
Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) rose from Rs 2,02,080.85 crore to Rs 2,48,796.15 crore between 2016-17 and 2019-20 at constant prices.
The annual growth rate stood at 7.71 per cent in the period as against the rate of 6.11 per cent at the national level.
“At current prices, the GSDP rose from Rs 2,54,382.36 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 3,51,317.77 crore in 2019-20 at an annual growth rate of 12.7 per cent as against the all-India growth rate of 10.72 per cent,” Sarma said in the last budget of the first BJP-led government in the state.
During the period, the per capita income of Assam rose from Rs 66,330 in 2016-17 to Rs 90,692 in 2019-20. The elections to the 126-member state assembly are likely to be held in March-April.

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