Taxation culture

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/20/2019 11:40:32 AM IST

 In the light of government agencies coming under scanner of the Public Action Committee(PAC) in the ongoing drive against illegal, unauthorised and multiple taxation at various check gates in Dimapur, the higher authorities need to address the issue instead of ignoring them. The PAC has also taken Dimapur Municipal Council(DMC) to task for the manner in which its contract-leassees have been overcharging tax by over ten times and also issuing challans for 1/10th the amount charged. These issues are not new but have been aired since several years in the past. Organisations such as NVCO, ACAUT Nagaland, Naga Council Dimapur and recently PAC,  have been pointing out the   highly questionable practices of a few government departments permitting tax collection through some of their staff or tax collection leassees without stringent checks. The departmental tax collectors or leassees were found to be collecting more than the amount fixed and then issuing challans for much lesser amounts. Over and above, PAC volunteers also pointed out that tax were levied and collected( over and above the amount stipulated) by the geology & mining and forest departments, for the same items as ‘royalty tax’.  ACAUT Nagaland had sought clarification from   the two departments as to why both were imposing ‘royalty’ tax   on marble, stone chips, granite etc respectively as it which amounted to ‘double taxation’?.   ACAUT pointed out that all such items being transported to Nagaland from outside were also taxed under GST, that involves Nagaland state’s taxation department. ACAUT also demanded clarification from the DMC on why was it still imposing municipal tax as octroi on various construction materials, such as against cement @Rs.2.50 per bag; when the item is also charged under Nagaland GST Act 2017 and which  under Section 173 states that after GST on such items, any municipality tax shall stand annulled.  This issue was also raised earlier by the Naga Council Dimapur(NCD).The other government department, veterinary & animal husbandry has also been found to be permitting its collectors to charge  ‘livestock/ health fees’ without adhering to the rules governing them.  It may be also added, that besides the veterinary & animal husbandry department, even the DMC levies tax on livestock. It means that livestock or poultry products are being taxed by both DMC and veterinary & animal husbandry department. These collections are abnormal and illegal and are responsible for pushing up prices of commodities. However, the story of tax tragedy in Dimapur does not end here. Scores of unions and non-state actors also  impose  their ‘right to tax’ every vehicle entering Dimapur. After having to pay tax for transport/road, the consignee has to pay godown tax. Then when the goods are taxed in  shop(s). The ongoing drive by the PAC at check gates is laudable but limited to two hours in the morning ( 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.) after trucks are barred entry after 5 a.m. and two hours in the evening( 7 p.m. 10 p.m.) after trucks are allowed entry after 10 p.m., according to PAC. The problem  is far from over as the non-state actors are still collecting tax from trucks at other locations. Such collections will not go away so easily and will require a determined and consistent effort to rid society of the most pernicious cottage industry that has been thriving for decades. 


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