Nagaland: Acaut alleges ‘syndicate’ in transport unions
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Nagaland: Acaut alleges ‘syndicate’ in transport unions

By EMN Updated: Sep 15, 2020 11:25 pm

Dimapur, Sep. 15 (EMN): The Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (Acaut) Nagaland has sought the immediate intervention of Governor RN Ravi in what it stated was the matter of ‘some members of various Naga political groups’ working hand in glove with ‘unscrupulous persons in transport unions’ to help continue their hold on illegal and unabated taxation.

In an open letter to the governor, Acaut Nagaland stated that various orders and diktats have been issued to ensure that only certain identified transporters carry particular goods and items at their prescribed rates which are way above the usual rates.

“The transporters not complying with such imposition are harassed with summons and ends up paying heavy fines. Business houses and shopkeepers are compelled to shell out unjustified transportation fare due to the existence of such syndicates and monopolies. This has resulted in shooting up of prices in essential commodities and ultimately it is the general public that suffers the most. This upgraded astute ploy of indirect illegal and unabated taxation is going on and the district administration has turned a Nelson’s eye to such malpractices,” the letter read.

It is shameful to have various unions and associations from Assam reprimanding and warning the government of Nagaland to reign in illegal taxes being collected by its own law enforcing agencies and ‘underground outfits’ at designated points and gates in spite of the GST receipts being produced, it stated.

‘It is one thing for the district administration to issue order for punitive action on overloaded goods vehicles but not ensuring security and rooting out the menace of illegal tax in the highway is another matter,’ it stated, adding that they are different sides of the same coin.

According to the organisation, the common people had ‘understood’ that they have to bear the burden of fuel cess to meet emergency expenses during the pandemic ‘but to continue the tax in spite of grants from the Centre has let the public fuming’.

‘In a state where almost half of its population are below the poverty line, they are left with no option but to use public transportation with its inflated fares that burns their pockets every day. The cascading effect of this fuel cess tax is making the price of essential commodities spiral out of control in the interior villages and far-flung areas of Nagaland,’ it stated.

Acaut Nagaland stated that a total revamp in the system of governance, especially with livelihood policy for generating entrepreneurial activities, is the need of the hour ‘or else we are heading for social upheaval and unrest’.

‘With more than thirty thousand returnees, who are now jobless, their very means of survival are at stake, therefore securing transport and logistics services has become an utmost priority. The syndicates that have monopolised on every consumer’s items causes practical obstacles and serve as a big deterrent for any entrepreneurs which will result in miscarriage of dreams and expectations,’ it stated, and suggested that anti-social elements indulging in syndicates for monopolistic interest should be put behind bars and ‘treated at par with a terrorist’.

It also demanded that the recommendations of the high powered commission report submitted in 2016 to the government of Nagaland should be implemented at the earliest.

By EMN Updated: Sep 15, 2020 11:25:30 pm