Dimapur, October 31: Exactly five years after a resolution on “One Government, One Tax” was taken in a massive rally in Dimapur on 31st October 2013 organized by ACAUT Nagaland, a similar rally organized by the Public Action Committee (PAC) of the Naga Council Dimapur today re-affirmed the same and urged the State Government to immediately stop illegal taxation and rampant collection on various goods and services, transporters, entry fee on vehicles, item-wise tax on goods, dealers, stockist and retailers.
The rally saw thousands of people from all walks of life, including school students, participating for a common cause – to eradicate the menace of illegal taxation in the State.
The public rally resolved that the State Government must take immediate step to check and ban syndicate and lease system, unauthorized collection centres operating in and around Dimapur district by various unions and organizations including Naga Political Groups (NPGs) and State Government agencies resulting in uncontrolled inflation.
The rally resolved to support and uphold “solution but not taxation”. The public appealed to the Government of India and NPGs to solve the protracted Naga political issue, which is the ultimate solution of all illegal taxations and collections.
The public also resolved to stand united beyond tribe, community and social position against the menace of illegal collections of tax by various underground organizations including Naga political groups and State Government agencies, which has crippled and threatened the very survival of citizens.
The public resolved to empower PAC (NCD) to pursue the resolutions in letter and spirit.
The rally demanded implementation of the High Power Committee report on illegal taxation immediately by the State Government.
It further resolved that in the process of pursuing social justice and reforms, any forms of threat, pressure or intimidation to the leaders or members from any agencies will be considered as undermining the voice and patience of the people, whereby the people will stand united and fight such forces and will nor remain mute spectators anymore but will initiate appropriate response deem fit.
Earlier, in his keynote address, Convenor, PAC NCD, Vekhosayi Nyekha said that the PAC Naga Council Dimapur has been compelled to address the burning issue on multiple illegal collections by countless unions/welfare organizations, syndicate and lease systems by the NPGs and corrupt collection system by Government agencies which has affected the general public economically and mentally causing enormous hardship to the citizens.
He said the business community has been overburdened, which in turn has led to price rise in every commodity, adding there is not a single item which has not been taxed.
Nyekha said that the Government of the day remains unconcerned and inactive towards all the evil systems of the rampant collections, which is threatening the very survival of its citizens and economy.
The PAC convenor said the Naga national workers, instead of fighting for freedom are busy collecting so-called taxes and threatening those who are nurturing and supporting them. “They are busy collecting ill-gotten money to construct building and buying luxurious cars, thinking it can secure their future, but they are only destroying themselves and their legacies,” he said.
He said the image of the State Government machineries are not better, the law enforcing agencies are falling short of insuring that illegal taxation are stopped by State machineries.
“We need changes, we want to live in a new Nagaland where there is no illegal collections by the NPGs, government agencies, unions/citizens,” he asserted.
He also accused the Government of India of playing “dirty games” stating that the lengthier the negotiations, the more mushrooming of factions, which in turn has add up more burden to the people.
President of Naga Council Dimapur, Bangerloba called upon the people to unite to fight against illegal taxation. He suggested that the State Government should check taxation and illegal collection by removing the collection points in and around the check gates.
He said though Government of India is sincere enough, there has been delay in finding a solution to the Naga problem, which has resulted in the present day menace of illegal collection. He said solution must be brought immediately as Nagas want peace and tranquility for development and peaceful co-existence.
Stating that illegal and rampant collection should be stopped, the Naga Council President called upon the national workers to understand the cries of the public and stop its workers from collecting taxes.
Senior citizen and member of Fact Finding Committee of PAC, Hekhevi Achumi gave a detailed account of how illegal taxes are being collected by various unions/agencies, underground factions, State Government agencies and others and how it is affecting the day to day lives of the general public.
He disclosed that a truck entering Nagaland with goods has to pay Rs 26,000 at check gates, while the amount taxed on bigger vehicles is much higher.
He said that the thriving syndicate system of second hand clothes charges at least Rs 72 lakhs per year for a bag of clothes, which are actually meant for distributing to the poor.
For Pan leaves, Rs 54 lakh is collected per year by the syndicates, for dry fish Rs 62 lakhs per year while there are syndicates for potatoes, egg, garlic and supari also, he added.
He also lamented that there is no rate fixation either by the Dimapur Chamber of Commerce & Industry or Dimapur Municipal Council on various goods sold in the market.
“We will pay taxes, but first remove the lessees, syndicate system etc,” he said and demanded a white paper from the underground factions on the taxes collected by them.
The senior citizen disclosed that the police is collecting Rs 12 lakhs from check gates and said the PAC had asked the Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner of Police Dimapur to stop these, but they have not taken any action.
He further disclosed that the Veterinary Department is collecting Rs 66 lakhs on poultry per month, while the Geology & Mining Department is charging Rs 300 to 400 per truck of sand entering Nagaland.
He also alleged that traffic police also collects money from the vehicles on one pretext or the other.
Achumi stated that out of 86 unions in Dimapur, 41 unions are actively collecting taxes. He said unions have become an industry and Nagas think that unions is a factory to earn money.
The senior citizen further disclosed that Rs 400 to 500 crores is collected every year through illegal tax collection and added it would have been good if such amount of money is used for development purposes.
President of Naga Women Hoho Dimapur, Sungsaben Jamio, President Bengali Samaj, K K Paul, Advisor Central Naga Tribal Council, Pius Lotha, Advisor, Angami Public Organization, Savi Liegise and Senior Leader, Eastern Naga Public Organization, Lemba Chang also spoke on the occasion. (Page News Service)