Sonowal's Effigies Burnt in Assam Over VAT Hike

Sonowal's Effigies Burnt in Assam Over VAT Hike

Barely a month after he took charge as the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal's effigies were today burnt at many places for hiking VAT on essential items and raising the prices of LPG, petrol and diesel.

Sonowal's effigy was burnt in his constituency Majuli by some local organisations, who along with All Assam Students Union (AASU) also took out a protest march.

His effigy was burnt in Golaghat too by All India Students Federation, who held a protest against hiking of VAT, its state secretary Madhurjya Baruah said.

AASU took out a torch light march in many districts this evening against the price hike.

People of Assam voted BJP expecting 'poriborton' (change) for better days, AASU General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi told PTI.

"This is not the better day for which people voted. They (BJP) promised to control price rise. But just after a month since forming the government, they have added to the burdens of the common people," he said.

AASU will organise protest demonstrations across all subdivisions on July 8 against price rise, he added.

Criticising the price hike, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi said, "Common people are already suffering from price rise. On top of it, now this VAT hike. Is this the achche din? Is this the poriborton that the BJP had promised to the Assamese people?"

CPI(M) took out a protest march here against the government's decision to hike tax rates.

All the organisations demanded immediate revocation of the increase in VAT and petro products.

Assam government has raised the price of LPG cylinder by Rs 14 by withdrawing "partial subsidy". The decision, along with some others on price hike, was taken during the first cabinet meeting of Sonowal government on June 27 but was kept under wraps.

The new tax structure was notified on July 2 but was made public on July 4 in the form of three gazette notifications, which were uploaded in the official website of Commissionerate of Taxes.

The government hiked the rates of petrol and diesel 76 paise per litre and Rs 1.67 a litre respectively by hiking the tax rates in the state.

VAT on 127 items under Second Schedule were also raised to six per cent from five per cent making price hikes imminent for scores of items of like medicines, milk, edible oil, meat, footwear, sweets, baby products, fish, ghee, spices, fruits, garments, soap, honey, gold items, bamboo goods, paper, X-Ray, CFL bulbs and medical tools.


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