NPCC asks CM to clarify stand on taxation
Dimapur, June 25 (EMN): Amid the ongoing recriminations over legality of taxation between the Governor of Nagaland for Naga peace talks, RN Ravi, and the NSCN (IM), the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has asked the state chief minister to make his stand clear as to whether collection of so called “tax” by Naga national workers (NNW) are legal right as they claimed.
Making a scathing attack on the state government for the collapse of Constitution of India, NPCC president, K Therie, has termed the former ‘subordinate government’ to various factions including those from Assam. He has accused the government for convening the assembly for 15 minutes and adjourned sine die to fulfil the obligation under the Constitution of India “to allow flow of funds from government of India with intent to loot.”
Therie alleged that minister, administration and police started directing aggrieved public, entrepreneurs and village authorities to compromise with “extortionists, kidnappers and murderers in the interest of future safety” following adoption of policy to facilitate and support the ongoing peace process by DAN-I on August 19, 2005, in the state assembly. He also alleged that 24% of government employees’ salaries were deducted at source and given away, while all DDOs started deducting at source from all bills in the name of insurgents’ tax and then shared.
Therie claimed that the larger chunk is taken by ministers, MLAs and the government employees involved in the development bills. He said insurgents collect not only from DDOs but from contractors and suppliers as well.
Therie has also disagreed with the statement that “historically, taxation is something deeply rooted in the history of Naga resistance movement even before the NNC came into the scene” and termed as “total distortion of history.”
To substantiate his statement, Therie stated that before the British, it was only Khezhanuo (Kuzhankhruo) that was collected once in a year as tribute paid to Kuzhami for leading in fighting back Metrimi Raja aggression (Meitei King). He said Kuzhami warriors that fought back and repelled them back till Karon.
Therie stated that tribute in the form of kind or live animal was paid once in a year as token of unity and commitment to stand together in times of invasion by other forces. Stating that the tribute was not a tax, he said it was paid by those who wished to keep unity.
According to Therie the history of tax began when the British landed at Samakuting.
“We have not heard any Naga village paying tax to anyone except the British Empire house tax, which was subsequently collected in the name of Khezhanuo (In the 1980s the nomenclature of Khezhanuo was changed to House tax).
On the contrary, Therie stated that the original rhyme and reason for the political movement was against tax. He has quoted the fifth paragraph of the Naga Hills Memorandum which read: “Our country is poor and it does not pay for any administration. Therefore, if it is continued to be placed under Reformed Scheme, we are afraid new and heavy taxes will have to be imposed on us, and when we cannot pay, then all lands have to be sold and in long run we shall have no share in the land of our birth and life will not be worth of living then”.
Therie lamented that today multiple taxes are paid to militant groups in Assam before the goods reach Nagaland. He added that after reaching Nagaland gate, public pay to 11 factions and police.
“People have lost security to life and property. Price of essential commodities are soaring sky high. The city now almost belongs to corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and some NNWs,” Therie alleged.
Therie has blamed the state government that does not want solution as they “want to continue in the chair and promote insurgency, prolong and delay solution.”
“If they want they can pave the way by resigning. GOI will implement immediately the solution,” Therie added.
In the light of the above mentioned circumstances, Therie questioned: Why GoI should not dissolve the state government for failing to enforce the law of the land and breakdown of law and order? Why should a constitutional government be allowed to facilitate the insurgents in extortion? Why should GoI take shelter over 5 states’ election or Covid-19 Phase – I or II, to delay implementation of solution when talks are over?