State-wide shutdown of shops not called off — CNCCI
Dimapur, Sep. 16 (EMN): Chairman of the Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CNCCI), Dr. Khekugha Muru on Thursday stated that the state-wide shutdown of shops and business establishments has not been called off as two of their demands had not been resolved by the government.
In the days to come, agitation will be enhanced if the government fails to address the demands of the confederation, he said, adding that it was just the first phase to ‘send a message’ to the government of Nagaland.
This was said at a press conference held at Hotel Saramati in Dimapur, on the day business activities were stopped across the state to protest multiple taxation by Naga political groups (NPGs) and government agencies.
During the press conference, Muru acknowledged the government’s assurance to immediately stop tax/free collection on items/goods falling under Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime by all the municipal and town councils and taking up the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (Sarfaesi) Act in the next session of the Assembly.
However, after detailed examination, two of their demands were unsatisfactory and in the coming days a representation will be sent to the government, he said.
Muru said that one of the unresolved issues was that the government had decided that the administrators of all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) would take steps for including representatives of the business community of their respective cities/towns in their advisory committees for taking decisions with respect to various business-related activities, but their demand was not about nominating an advisor to the administrators but insertion of a reserve nominee representation under the Municipal Act.
‘The other demand was relating to multiple taxations. The government assured increased security only in Dimapur district but rest of the other districts were not touched upon, whereas the CNCCI represents the entire 12 districts of Nagaland,’ he informed.
Speaking on the issue of multiple taxation, Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industries’ (DCCI) President Akashe K Zhimomi, who also attended the press conference, said that the government only assured increased security ‘which cannot be trusted as it has been the same for years now and one shop cannot serve multiple governments’.
He said that the government’s stand must be clear whether the multiple taxes were “taxes” or “extortion”.
If the state government called multiple taxes as “taxes”, then the business community would oblige but would sell commodities at increased prices ‘as they don’t have any control now’, he said.
Zhimomi stated that due to multiple taxations, business establishments were shifting to the nearby areas of Assam from Dimapur. He said that they were businessmen but at the same time consumers as well, adding that it affect the whole society and therefore requested the government to streamline taxation and resolve ways to remove it.
Responding to CNCCI’s charter of demands, the government of Nagaland had earlier said that it had decided to increase security to check illegal taxation, stop collection of tax on items that comes under Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, and steps to be taken up by administrators of all the Urban Local Bodies to include business communities in their advisory committees for taking decisions in respect to various business-related activities.
It also informed that the Sarfaesi Act 2002 was under examination of the Select Committee of Nagaland Legislative Assembly, which said after its meeting that it would try to table the bill in the next assembly session.
Citing the steps it had decided to take up to tackle the taxation menace and improve the ease of doing business in the state, the government had appealed to the state’s apex business body to reconsider its proposed state-wide closure of business establishments.