ACAUT to give govt ‘more time’ to act on its 10-point memo
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 17
ONLY a day after branding the state government’s plea for time “as a lame excuse”, the Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) on Tuesday took a reverse turn and decided that it would accord the state government with “more time” to act and respond to the 10-point Memorandum it had submitted earlier on August 30. This was decided in a meeting held between ACAUT members and civil society organizations here today at Naga Council Dimapur, Unity hall. The combined meeting, however, did not decide on the number of days to be allowed to the state government. The ACAUT is expected to announce the specific ‘time frame’ in a few days time.
The meeting also resolved to render ACAUT as “a broad-based movement” and invite like-minded tribal organizations to join the movement. Till now, the ACAUT has been functioning under the aegis of the Naga Council Dimapur.
Conversely, a public awareness rally would also be held, tentatively next week, to spread the idea and the purpose of the ACAUT movement among the public.
The need for ACAUT to rope in civil society organizations into its fold was also underscored by the lawyer, as well as the president of Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organization, Kezhokhoto Savi.
The civil rights crusader, with his team, attended and addressed the meeting on invitation. He cautioned the ACAUT that some business bodies and chamber of commerce and industries were taking advantage of the movement to “capture the market.”
Savi suggested that some district chamber of commerce and industries have taken advantage of the joint meeting held with all the rest chamber of commerce and industries in the state along with ACAUT this year.
Some “self interested” business associations are not allowing their respective district tribal organizations to join the movement on the ground that they were the only ones who had attended the said meeting. “I appeal to you to reach out and let the civil societies to join the movement,” he said.
Savi also reminded the meeting that the movement should not be, and is not, only against taxation by Naga underground groups. “It includes the state government as well. I can assure you that the Nagaland government is willfully exempting legal taxations on some certain business groups/houses. I have proof,” Savi said.
It remains to be seen if the initiatives by ACAUT to form a ‘ broad based movement’ will help the government in its respond, in reasonably good time,or will it divert the groundswell that ACAUT enjoyed when it first raised the decades old untouchable issue of ‘illegal taxation’.