Either GST or ‘item tax’ not both, warns trade body
Dimapur, October 15: The Government of Nagaland has been caught imposing tax on goods entering the State under the name and style of “item tax” in addition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that is being implemented in the State as in the rest of the country.
The “daylight robbery” of the State Government, as some civil society organizations have dubbed it, came to light after the Hardware Merchants’ Association of Dimapur District exposed the collection to toll tax per weight of the goods transported after toll tax collection of the Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) was leased out to private parties by the Government.
The GST (Goods and Services Tax) implemented in the country including Nagaland is a single tax on the supply of goods and services. It is a destination based tax and subsumed taxes like Central Excise Law, Service Tax Law, VAT, Entry Tax, Octroi, etc.
Following other civil society organizations who have voiced out against imposition of additional taxes other than the GST on goods entering the State by the DMC, the Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has served an ultimatum to the State Government to either opt out of GST regime or stop all item tax by the Dimapur Municipal Council within 10 days, failing which the DCCI will be forced to shut down its shutter and cease all business activity indefinitely till such time the Government meet their demand.
In a press release, the DCCI said enough is enough. “Dimapur has become a haven for taxation and consequently the business community in Nagaland is undergoing hardship to support its family out of its meager income as the community is forced to shell out the chunk of its income to take up the role of the bread earner for all tax imposing agencies and elements. The taxation on business community has reached its limit of tolerance. Business cannot thrive or survive if it becomes a charitable institution donating ever increasing taxation.”
The DCCI said the recent steep price rise in the market on hardware materials especially MS road made known to the public by the hardware association upon enforcing lease system by DMC is one such instance that needs to open the eyes of the Government and the public.
The trade body reminded the State Government that it has opted for GST regime popularly known as “One nation one tax” where the entire nation has one tax slab with uniform MRP. “How can Nagaland business community survive on multiple taxations by the government while entire nation is doing business on single tax and uniform MRP all over India,” it asked.
The DCCI pointed out that with the implementation of the GST, taxation gates across the country has been closed down but in Dimapur “it is a mockery that DMC with the approval of government is still trying to robbing its subjects through unheard anywhere in the country called “item tax” that enters the state through Dimapur.”
The trade body asked the State Government to share revenue with the DMC borne out of SGST as Nagaland is part of the GST regime, and not allow double taxation on the business community – GST and item tax by DMC.
“The lease system where taxes on every item are levied by the DMC is beyond any reasoning and logic and a simple act of daylight robbery by the DMC,” it said while serving the 10-days ultimatum to the Government.
Meanwhile, the DCCI has appealed to all business establishments to open their shop till late in the evening and on Sundays during the festival season to help the public. (Page News Service)