Editorial

Some relief

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/13/2019 11:52:28 AM IST

 It is undoubted that rampant tax collection in Nagaland and Dimapur in particular has become the biggest hurdle for development and people of Nagaland are eagerly hoping that one day all these will be a thing of the past. How long will that take is a matter of debate but there is a glimmer of hope when the Working Committee of NNPGs resolved that none of them would impose tax on the contractor involved with construction of the four-lane highway between Purana Bazar to Chumoukedima. In addition, according to the WC, the unified group has also decided not to allow any kind of tax to be imposed along the ongoing construction work on the four-lane. It is pertinent to note that there are as many groups that are imposing their taxes on all business and trade enterprises. These collections are responsible for sky rocketing prices of every item or commodity that passes through the Nagaland gates. Transporters are forced to pay anywhere from Rs.15000 to Rs.20,000 depending on the number of tyres and the nature of goods, in order enter Dimapur. Even several government departments are also accused of collecting unauthorised taxes or collecting more than permitted. Rampant collection of taxes by various groups including some associations, have pushed prices of every items well beyond their reasonable limit. The end-users have to pay the extra amount which has been passed on to them by traders. Every work being done even shockingly construction of private houses, are brought under the radar of tax collectors from various groups and organisations. In addition to these activities which the business organizations have highlighted several times in the past for which they had even resorted to shut down; there are other forms such as ‘house/building tax’ and ‘household tax’ imposed by outfits and collected at various wards and colonies. Even if there are organizations working for the public, it needs to be understood that such works are voluntary and that the public cannot be subject to their financial requirements. On this scale, the state government can think of allocating certain amount of money in the budget such as through the District Plan to encourage and promote voluntary organizations in their social and voluntary activities. On the other hand, there is also an urgent need for adopting a policy to provide sustenance for those groups that are in cease fire with the government of India. This could help ensure there is no collection from the public, who are burdened by rampant collections. The saying that extortion is the biggest cottage industry in the north east, is unfortunately true, in most states barring Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. Extortion is a bane on development since it exposes the ineffectiveness of any government and also gives a bag signal to would-be investors. In order to promote trade and business, the state government has been investing in money and time to woo investors from outside. In other states where the taxation syndrome does not exist, the states succeed in wooing outside investors who have been instrumental in boosting the economic growth. Dimapur is also the gateway to Nagaland and Manipur and therefore plays a very crucial part in the economic development of both states. It is late yet not too late for all and sundry, to collectively confront this menace for a safe and progressive society.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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