The BJP-led government in poll-bound Assam headed by Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday (February 12) cut petrol and diesel prices by ₹5 and reduced duty on liquor by 25%. The new rates will come into effect from midnight.
Finance Minister Himanta Biswas announced the new rates in the Assembly during vote-in-account for six months. The minister said the decision would result in losses of nearly ₹80 crore per month.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic peaked, we had raised taxes on petrol and diesel. As the situation has improved, the state Cabinet has decided to withdraw the additional taxes on these fuels,” Sarma said.
The petrol price in Assam was kept at ₹90.41/litre. With the reduction, it will cost ₹85.41/litre — the lowest after Gujarat where petrol price is ₹85.30 per litre.
The elections to the 126-member state Assembly are due in a few months. The state government’s decision came at a time when fuel prices have risen sharply across the country.
Ahead of the elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had granted over a lakh land titles to members of the state’s indigenous communities during his recent visit to the state. He had also inaugurated a host of development projects.
Currently, BJP has 61 MLAs in the Assam Assembly while ally AGP and an Independent have the rest of 75 seats. The Opposition has a strength of 33 with Congress having 19 seats and AIUDF 14. Others bagged 11 seats while seven seats remain vacant.