Exempt middle class citizens from COVID cess: KU asks govt

DIMAPUR, MAY 3 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/3/2020 12:27:57 PM IST

Konyak Union (KU) has described the recent imposition of COVID-19 cess on fuel as “doubling the burden upon the struggling citizens of the state” and appealed to the state government to exempt those struggling citizens from the purview of COVID-19 cess. 

KU through its media cell maintained that when the state exchequer was facing “financial crunch”, the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic had caught the state government unprepared. 

Stating that fortunately Nagaland has been declared as a “green zone”, the union said the state government must judiciously execute a policy considering people’s plight and suffering on account of continued lockdown. 

KU suggested that the state government consider dual aspects regarding the current pandemic and the subsequent socio-economic implications while framing any policies. Further, the union suggested that the state government, before justifying imposition of COVID-19 cess, should meticulously recognise the structural dynamics of society, its component, and its implication. 

Konyak Union asserted that the government while considering the existence of “three layered class of society” in the state must duly examine the “dynamics of existence and survival of these societies.”

Seeking to place the “factual realities that exist”, the union said that the rich and upper-class Naga society was “immune to any form of hardship” and had better access to modern health care facilities.

However, it said that the middle-class Naga society without much avenues or support from the government was least privileged section and most vulnerable to succumb to the pandemic. 

While the middle class was struggling for sustenance and livelihood on account of lockdown, Konyak Union said imposing COVID-19 cess on petroleum products would be a double burden for them. 

The union has, therefore, urged the state government to consider the plight of the struggling citizen before implementing such policies.

With regard to poorer section of Naga society, KU said they were the poorest class in the society, but were “privileged to be benefited by various government schemes available.” 

On the contrary, Konyak Union said poorer section of society was least vulnerable to the current pandemic since they were mostly rural inhabitants. It also said that COVID-19 cess would not affect them.

The Konyak Union has, therefore, appealed to the state government to duly exempt those struggling citizens from the purview of COVID-19 cess.


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