Organizations demand action against extortion

Dimapur, Jun 23 (NPN) | Publish Date: 6/23/2020 1:04:24 PM IST

Coming down hard against the unabated and rampant illegal forcible ‘tax collection’ on the business community in Dimapur which was earlier highlighted by the Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Public Action Committee (PAC) of the Naga Council Dimapur, ACAUT and other organizations have also demanded immediate action from the state government to curb the menace plaguing society.

PAC through its media cell expressed “utter disgust and pain” and strongly condemned the excessive spree of collection of “illegal multiple taxation on Dimapur traders by Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).”

PAC said while the state police personnel were fully engaged in a 24x7 battle against the pandemic it accused the NNPGs of taking undue advantage of the current situation by starting rampant collection of money in Dimapur and causing tremendous mental harassment on traders.

PAC wondered as to how long can public continue to succumb to such taxations which affects everyone either directly or indirectly and since traders pass on the ‘taxation’ on the consumers for which the public ends up the loser. It said no mercy has been shown to traders in spite of the lockdown due to the pandemic and described it as “most insensible and beyond comprehension.” PAC said consumers depend on other states for all commodities, be it hardware, essential items . It said taxation imposed on transportation agencies have already reached the zenith that transporters are on the verge of closing down their activities.

PAC said it viewed such activities seriously as these will affect the entire state and cripple its economy since every business depended on transporter to deliver goods.

On behalf of the public of Dimapur, PAC made a serious appeal on the state government to “protect is citizens from such illegal rampant collection going on in broad daylight”. It cautioned, that if the cry of the public went unheeded, the consequences could lead to further breakdown of law and order when citizens will be unprotected against such elements loitering in and around Dimapur. Further, PAC said such rampant extortion taking place in the commercial city of Dimapur will onsequently also affect all other districts. 

In the light of the above, PAC maintained that the state government was not unaware of such activities. Therefore, it said the state government’s silence only revealed either incapability, complacency or complicity with these elements.

PAC also condemned the “attitude of the central government and its machineries” for insincerity in implementing the ‘cease fire ground rules’ which has left Naga public to fend for themselves.

PAC also maintained that the cease fire has literally not benefitted Nagas because even if lives are saved, yet the misery of the public has tripled. It said this only showed that the onus has shifted on public. PAC said government of India should not allow public to suffer by not concluding the talks.

PAC has appealed to both the state and centre to rein in the unabated illegal collection of money in Dimapur that is causing great hardship on all. 

ACAUT: Extending its sympathy and solidarity with the business community who continue to face “unchecked extortion” from some NPG as reported in the media, ACAUT Nagaland said the matter highlighted by the DCCI was a timely notice on public and government. It said while the business community was reeling under severe economic loses due to the global pandemic, the “item-wise” taxation imposed on them was the last straw.

ACAUT reminded that it was fully aware how rampant taxation ruined investment and also indirectly made the public suffer most. It reiterated its principle of “one government, one tax” and so every tax so forcefully imposed was not acceptable.

It noted that while the government of Nagaland was engrossed with issues related with COVID-19 so law and order became the first casualty. ACAUT said rampant extortion and multiple taxation was happening right under the nose of the authority and even at police check gates.

ACAUT implied that since the tempo for political settlement appeared to have lost steam, the pent up frustration and failed aspirations were negative offshoots leading to forcible collection and unabated taxation.

As Nagaland’s economy was ailing and stagnating, ACAUT said this can only breed “more parasites” with thousands of young returnees and deep financial crisis of the government. ACAUT said if the government of the day failed to take the taxation menace by the horn once and for all, it will lead to new factions popping up and fight over taxation turfs and supremacy and restart the entire vicious cycle of fratricide and push Nagaland back to the dark age once again.

DDCF: Dimapur District Citizens’ Forum (DDCF) has expressed resentment over the “unabated taxation by some Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and other elements” from shops and business establishments in Dimapur.

DDCF through its media cell termed as “most unfortunate” that collection of various taxes from the already affected shops and business establishments were going on rampantly resulting in price escalations and in turn affecting the public directly or indirectly.

The forum has, therefore, appealed to everyone, irrespective of group affiliation, to understand the present prevailing situation and refrain from such unabated taxation for the welfare of the citizens of Dimapur. It has urged all responsible to rather help the citizens by putting a check on the high rise of the price of commodities. 

Acknowledging the District administration for the tireless efforts taken to tackle the pandemic, DDCF has called upon the responsible authorities to address the issue for the wellbeing of all the citizens.

NVCO: Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) has strongly condemned the illegal taxations, tax demand and practice of syndicate system in the state especially in Dimapur and Kohima.

NVCO through its media cell appealed to the “Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) not to impose tax” on business community and stop the practice of syndicate system as the consumers ultimately bore the brunt of exorbitant rate in the market.

Further, NVCO urged the all responsible not to charge exorbitant rate for goods and services taking advantage of the situation.

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