Acaut reiterates on ‘one tax, one government’
Dimapur, Sep. 14 (EMN): Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (Acaut) has reiterated the resolution taken at the public rally on October 31, 2013, for “one government, one tax” which was subsequently reaffirmed by the Public Action Committee (PAC) of Naga Council Dimapur on October 31, 2018, and called upon the people of the state to rise to the occasion when the clarion call is given at the right time.
In a joint statement, Acaut chairman, Tia Longchar, and secretary, Hetoi Chishi, stated that Dimapur, the nerve centre of trade and commerce in Nagaland which boasts of seven shopping malls giving its citizens an enthralling shopping experience with competitive pricing like any other city in India, is not immune from the menace of taxation.
According to Acaut those shopping malls are fuelled by a market economy based on consumerism and they directly employ more than 600 youth mostly from Dimapur. It stated that those qualified employees take home a minimum salary of not less than INR 8000 to INR 30,000 per month. Acaut stated that there are positive ripples that trickle down to other business enterprises from logistics to food stalls.
It also added that the state government also earned its revenue through the introduction of GST as a consumerist state. With a pan India tax system in place, Acaut said persisting issue of illegal and unabated taxations are the main affliction that affect the profitability and management of running such enterprises in Nagaland.
Acaut alleged that the goods laden carriers and trucks have to shell out nothing less than INR 15,000 depending on the products and number of the wheels. It claimed that 13 to 15 trucks for the shopping malls in Dimapur enter every week through the gates after paying multiple “extra” taxes thereby resulting for some of those enterprises hardly able to cover up their incurring expenses and meet the break-even on their yearly audits.
Acaut strong voiced that the unabated taxation by ‘parallel governments and unregulated taxes by the state government’ is a deterrent to entrepreneurs as well to any prospective investors in the state.
It said the existing shopping malls in Nagaland are a parameter for any further serious investment by any private sector. It stated that unlike other organised shops, which can inflate prices and sell beyond MRP, those malls are supposed to maintain a standard online MRP wherein the cost of items sold in those malls cannot be manipulated to adjust for the unabated and multiple taxes.
Since government jobs are saturated, it said the only employment opportunities for thousands of youth that enters the job market every year is in the private sector. It, however, stated that uncurbed rampant taxation is the main impediment for opening enterprises in the state of Nagaland thereby depriving the youth thousands of jobs at home and instead are compelled to seek job opportunities in other cities.
It stated that on any given day, especially at the New Field check gate, trucks are targeted for collection by the various Naga political groups as their right to tax. With issues being raised by various CSOs, it said there has been periodic raids by the police but has not rooted out the unabated taxation menace. Unlike previous practises of issuing of tax slips and summon to various undisclosed locations, it claimed that the modus operandi for those tax mongers have been upgraded through intimations and notices by mobile phones.
It lamented that the never ending vicious cycle of taxation is now eating into the very vital essence of entrepreneurship. It added that even to eked out an honest livelihood for any ordinary citizens has become difficult due to the ever rising prices escalated by the well oiled taxing syndicates. It, therefore, stated that the dream of making the society a self-reliant and prosperous state is becoming more of a distant reality.
Stating that the biggest threat to the very existence of Naga society are unabated, multiple and illegal taxations, Acaut stated that such illegal activities have to be stopped. It suggested the state government to issue arms licence to citizens to protect themselves from petty criminals and gangs misusing the name of national movement to pursue their vested interests if it is incapable of defending its citizens.