Nagaland orders closure of all police check gates to curb illegal tax collection

Several armed groups, including the NSCN-IM, collect taxes from traders and vehicles
Nagaland orders closure of all police check gates to curb illegal tax collection
Representational image

Representational image | Photo Credit: PTI

The Nagaland Government ordered on Thursday that all “police check gates”, except those at the inter-State boundaries, shall be shut to “curb illegal collection of money from the vehicles on roads”.

Several armed groups, including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) [NSCN-IM], one of the main groups with which the Government of India is engaged in peace talks, collect taxes from traders and vehicles. Last year, the Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CNCCI) asked the government to clarify if it feels the collection of taxes by armed groups is illegal. It said that the business community has had to pay taxes to at least 10 armed groups and “end up paying 12-13 times taxes while their counterparts elsewhere pay only the GST (Goods and Services Tax)“.

The order comes a day after Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio met Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi, where he demanded the early conclusion of Naga peace talks. Nagaland goes to the polls in February 2023. Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton, who is with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has in recent public meetings demanded President’s Rule for the State if the Naga peace agreement is not signed soon. The discussion with the NSCN-IM is reportedly stuck over the latter’s demand for a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas. 

The order issued by J. Alam, Chief Secretary of Nagaland on May 19 said that the State government in the past had issued several directives to stop illegal collection but, “Reports, however, continue to be received alleging illegal collection of money from vehicles on roads and at various check gates by organizations, groups, Government agencies, private individuals etc.”

The order said that the gates set up by other Government Departments, including the Municipal and Town Councils “shall also be immediately closed” except the inter-State check gates, which may function till May 31, after which they will be able to function only after obtaining a specific approval from the Home Department.

The order also states that inspection teams should be constituted in each district that will conduct surveys to dismantle any check post, including that of the police. The inspection team will also have to send periodic reports on the action taken against illegal tax collections based on complaints received on the helpline set up for the purpose. The Public Works Department (PWD) has been asked to put up “prominent signages in local dialects/ English and Hindi” at every check gate/point “declaring that no payment other than required by any law/rule/provision, if applicable, shall be made and that for such payments a proper receipt will be given.”

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 7:40:02 am |


(This story has not been checked by JK Mega and is auto-generated from other sources)



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