Belling the cat

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/12/2019 10:55:57 AM IST

 It is not the first time that the Naga Council Dimapur(NCD) has brought into public domain, the issue of the illegal and unabated taxation industry that plagues Dimapur and how such forcible collections have put tremendous pressure on business and which has adversely affected the economic growth of Dimapur, the commercial hub of the state. NCD in the representation signed by Public Action Committee(PAC) convenor Vekhosayi Nyekha and Co-convenor K.Ghokheto Chophy, disclosed that “illegal tax” was being imposed and forcibly collected at every point of transaction and this has resulted in upward tripling of prices of all commodities. The PAC of the NCD has also revealed how the efforts of police in arresting those involved in such crimes ends in vain, as the offenders are set free out without any difficulty. In the light of the utter inability to bring criminals to book, NCD has urged upon the chief minister to enact stringent laws such as the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA)1999 or the Bihar Control of Crime Act 1981 so as to ensure that it would act as a strong deterrent and also encourage the law enforcement agencies to perform their duty. The issue of forcible collection of taxes in Dimapur has been highlighted in this column since over two decades but it appears to be a losing battle. The NCD has been spearheading the outcry against various “unauthorised/illegal” taxes being forcibly imposed by various organisations. It may be recalled that in one of the biggest ever public rally on October 31,2013 in Dimapur, ACAUT had resolved to seek urgent and immediate intervention by the government to erase the menace which is responsible for inflicting serious negative consequences on trade and business in Dimapur which also invariably affects the rest of the state. In the 2013 rally, the ACAUT had boldly named those it alleged, were involved in the collection racket such as unions, some government agencies and in particular, Naga national groups. The public rally on October 31,2013 (Clock Tower Junction) and August 25,2017(Naga Shopping Arcade) should have made the state government respond positively to eradicate these menaces that have destroyed business, burdened the public and promoting Dimapur’s infamous ‘taxation industry’. At various rallies, leaders ACAUT, NCD and other organisations had spoken out clearly about what was happening and demanding urgent steps to eradicate the menace that is the biggest hurdle against peace and progress, not only of Dimapur but also the entire state. In addition, the menace has also crippled the economic activities of small enterprises and for which not even local entrepreneurs are confident of taking up trade and business activities. The fear psychosis among business entrepreneurs has not been lost to those potential investors from outside. In the light of various public rallies, the state government was compelled to constitute a High Power Committee to go into the entire issue and recommend steps. The HPC had submitted its recommendation long back but till date, the state government has neither disclosed the recommendations nor taken any steps in implementing them. The moot point is whether the state government, suffering from a self-inflicted Nelson’s eye, would have the courage to do what was right and prove it is sincere in effecting good governance that would be the biggest contribution to peace and progress of Nagaland.

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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