DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 10: The Business Association of Nagas (BAN) today said that unabated taxation by several Naga political groups and the multiple-tax on every consumer items have exceeded all tolerable limits.
It said the global pandemic for nearly two years have negatively impacted the economy and the first generation local entrepreneurs in Nagaland are the most persecuted lot due to these unsolicited taxes and pandemic. Further, in compliance with the Government of Nagaland SOPs the lockdown have affected almost all businesses, especially trading, transport, essential commodities, restaurants and hotels, event management and rentals, constructions, etc. and many businesses had closed and many are on the brink of closures, it added.
In a press release, the Association said Naga business owners are for the first time in a lifetime facing such a devastating pandemic that the whole supply chain from production to marketing has been brought to grinding standstill and the suffering of the business community is excruciating.
“Even under such circumstances, the continued unreasonable demands by the armed groups is the last straw that will break the entrepreneurial spirit of a small emerging group of local young people, who prefer to live a dignified life with their sweat and toil”, the BAN stated adding, “Forced extortion now operates like a well-oiled machinery that dodges all surveillance of the Government agencies and is the only obnoxious industry that seems to be thriving during these unprecedented times.”
The Association further stated that in a continuous upgrade of strategic means to collect such unwanted taxes the use of juveniles to act as informants and collect taxes is another disturbing trend that needs to be stopped immediately.
BAN questioned the sincerity and doubted the motives behind various ceasefire agreements being signed between the Government of India with various Naga political groups.
It said the ceasefire ground rules allows various categories of arm card holders which can be easily misused to intimidate and coerce the public.
The cadres of the various armed groups having ceasefire with the Government of India, instead of being confined to their designated camps, are brawling in all trade and commerce activities collecting their loot from various business houses at their whims and fancies, it said and wondered whether the GOI has also given them the license to collect their rations and expenses in the name of taxation.
BAN also reiterated the Naga public mandate of “One Government, One Tax” as declared on the October 31, 2013.
Stating that the indirect taxation levied on every commodity multiple times has an adverse cascading effect right down to the poorest of the poor living in both rural and urban areas of Nagaland, the Association asked, “When we pay tax to the Government, why can’t the State machineries be deployed efficiently to curb this menace that is going around rampantly?”
It said it is the Government’s legitimate responsibility to instill confidence among the entrepreneurs and assure security for all businesses by ensuring rule of law and appealed to the State machineries to deal with such elements befittingly and tactfully as per the law of the land.
BAN members can contact the following mobile numbers to address their grievances: 8837428416; 9862259701; 7005287241; 9436012590; and 9863861450.
(Page News Service)