Dimapur, October 31: The Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) has renewed its appeal to the State Government to immediately implement the High Power Committee (HPC) report submitted to the Government by the 3-member committee headed by former Supreme Court Judge HK Sema to curb illegal multiple taxation in the State.
In a press release, NPRAAF said there is no other way, including legislation of new laws, to solve the issue since the State Government itself is paying taxes to multiple governments even to implement various centrally sponsored schemes in addition to tax on Government employee salary, besides multiple illegal taxation on various businesses which affects the people directly.
NPRAAF also expressed dismay at the reply (July 18, 2018) of the State Home Department that since the HPC report is a Cabinet paper under Sec 8 (1) (i) of RTI Act 2005 a copy of the report cannot be furnished at this stage as requested “as the report is very sensitive.” The reply was given following query to the State Government to produce true certified copies of the entire report and the recommendation of HPC on illegal/unabated taxation.
The release said the Home Department through its Additional Secretary assured NPRAAF before the State Information Commission (SIC) during every hearing on the matter that as an when the HPC report is approved for implementation by the State Government, the whole report will be first made available to NPRAAF first.
“However to this day no information was made available to NPRAAF other than assurance,” it lamented.
NPRAAF said in the RTI it questioned if the Government of Nagaland has taken any step/action based on the report and recommendation submitted by HPC, to which the Home Department responded that the report is under thorough examination and therefore no action can be initiated until final decision is taken by the cabinet.
The NPRAAF asked the Government when it will approve the HPC report for implementation to ease the public burden of exorbitant prices on all goods and services.
“The public has every right to know the recommendation made by HPC as multiple taxation is a concern for all Nagas and staggering amount of Rs 47,88,476 Lakh of public money was spent on the committee to prepare the report, in view of it the government must not delay any further in implementing the recommendation made by the HPC to curb multiple illegal taxation in the state,” it stated.
The NPRAAF has been pushing the matter with the Government for over 2 years to implement HPC report following filing of RTI in the Chief Minister’s Office on May 12, 2016. (Page News Service)