ACAUT dismayed over govt inaction
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 16
THE Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) has expressed disappointment over the response of the state government to its 10-point memorandum that was submitted to the Chief Minister on August 30.
The ACAUT, in a release, today said it had submitted the memorandum to the Chief Minister riding on the good will of the public and the crest of opinion against unabated taxation and illegal collections. The ACAUT also expressed dismay to discover that the government has not addressed any of the points raised in its last meeting with the Chief Minister. Moreover, it also viewed as lame the excuse of “inadequate time” to address the issue, which was to be carried out “within 15 days”.
The ACAUT statement also argued that the government has been “silent on the issue of unabated taxations by NPGs and illegal collections by government agencies for the past four months despite the fact that ACAUT booklet on taxations was even distributed to all the members of Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) during the monsoon session. Therefore, citing lack of time to address the issue is unjustifiable and it portrays the insincerity of the government”.
The release was accompanied by a copy of the memorandum and ends with a call that “at this juncture the public should be the best judge as to what is wrong with the government’.
Memorandum submitted to CM on 30th August
The state government is obligated to enforce the writ of the state. Having sworn to uphold the constitution of India, the state government cannot shy away from its first and foremost duty, that is, protection of its citizens and in this case, the consumers and traders. Therefore, ACAUT, as the mandated voice of the people put forth the following demands.
1. The government should ensure the protection of traders and business people from any form of taxations imposed by any armed and unarmed groups and anti-social elements. The government shall dismantle the ‘dealership’ and syndicate apparatuses erected by sections of NPGs and arrest all its proponents including the dealers and kingpins.
2. All forms of collection at inter-state gates by police and government department personnel should be stopped henceforth.
3. For implementation of i) & ii) a 24×7 complaint line manned directly by the staff of PHQ should be operationalised.
4. For the purpose of giving teeth to i) & ii) a police tactical response team is to be formed in every district to deal directly and lethally with anti-social elements.
5. Most importantly, the government should enact a new law to deal with cases of illegal taxations, extortions, kidnappings and other anti- social activities. IPC and CrPC are simply inadequate to deal with unique home grown criminal minds. Current laws have to many loopholes allowing offenders to walk free with impunity. Such a law should also have the power to attach the properties of known offenders as well as giving legal protection to the police tactical response team.
6. As per the Chief Secretary’s declaration of April 2012 wherein Special Task Force (STF) in every district to check and deport illegal Bangladeshi immigrants was mooted with much fanfare but never took off, the Chief Minister is urged to formulate such a body. As presented, IBIs control much of the economy and it’s only a matter of time before they start controlling the social and political life of Nagas. You are to consider this with outmost sagacity for the sake of posterity.
7. The state should ban further registration of ‘Unions’ and ‘Associations’. Also, a high- powered committee should be set-up to streamline trade union registration rules and also de-recognise or cancel the registered organisations functioning beyond their prescribed by-laws.
8. For the sake of development and economic take off of Naga people, the practise of deduction at source by concerned departments for sanctioned works has to be stopped herewith.
9. The government should bring down the prices of all essential and non-essential commodities.
10. The DMC should be streamlined by amending relevant portions of Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001. Specifically, the right of municipal bodies to levy taxes on commodities entering its entering its jurisdiction should be abrogated.
State asks for more time from ACAUT
IN response to the 10 point memorandum from ACAUT submitted to the Chief Minister on August 30th last, the state administration has said there are “essentially no differences between the views of ACAUT and the State Government”
However, the government said “actions on the issues raised will take time to implement due to various reasons including deeper deliberations and formulation of action plans as some of the issues are very sensitive”.
ACAUT had sought the state to take action and respond to the points in the memorandum within 15 days of its meeting with the government respresentatives.
In a letter to ACAUT President, Ntsemo Ngullie, Nagaland Chief Secretary, Alemtemshi Jamir said that the underlying theme of the issues in the Memorandum is related to the of the Naga Political Groups (NPG). In this regard, the role of the State Government has not been properly defined in the ongoing ceasefire and the negotiation process which is between the Government of India (GoI) and the various Naga groups.
The letter also pointed out that the cease fire mechanism is supervised Chairman of the CFMG (Ceasefire Monitoring Group) and CFSB (Ceasefire Supervisory Board) and is basically implemented through the Assam Rifles, the letter said.
Under such circumstances, the extent to which the State Government can take action has been largely left undefined in the CFGR (Ceasefire Ground Rules).
The letter further said policies and action related to dealership, syndicates, agencies etc indulged by the NPGs will take time to be formulated and implemented. However, the matter is already under consideration by the administration and police.
In such a perspective it will be appreciated that the 15 days time given by ACAUT is insufficient since the various streamlining and structuring of the government organisations, particularly correcting systems that have evolved over a long period of years, cannot be done overnight. In some cases it will even require formulation of new policies including legal measures covered by appropriate laws and legislations, the letter added.
The Chief Secretary requested that the action take on the ACAUT memorandum by the State Government and the problems faced in its implementation, may be explained to ACAUT members and thus review the deadline given in the memorandum.