NTIMES 6JUN: Naga Civil society and the business community through the Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) under the aegis of the Naga Council Dimapur, has listed several demands as contained in a memorandum submitted to the ato kilonser of the NSCN (I-M). According to ACAUT convenor Ntsemo Ngullie and secretary Solomon L. Awomi, the demands in the memorandum included:
1. Only one tax payable per underground faction and to immediately abolish ‘multiple taxes’ imposed as (a) New Field Check Gate (b) Godown and (c) shops. All Naga political groups to levy tax “at one point” to check skyrocketing of prices; that all “irritants” such as -trade license tax, ID registration tax, individual donations, calendar donations, Christmas and New Year donations “shall not be entertained anymore.”
2. Amount payable as “yearly tax” to different factions should not be increased arbitrarily but maintained at the same level as 2012.
3. To immediately cancel the new system of “dealership” as it went against free enterprise.
4. No products/produce in the market be allowed to come under the grip of powerful and illegal syndicates through the “latest dealership system” so as to provide level playing field and prevent prices from being monopolized and resulting in price rise and destroying the livelihood of families.
5. No individual should be “taxed twice”- on a salaried person or businessmen and household tax or vice versa.
6. No tax be collected by “non-cadres” on behalf of Naga political groups except authorised personnel of the groups; and to immediately discontinue present practice of GBs and Colony Chairman or utilizing non-local, especially illegal immigrants, to collect tax.
7. No Meitei, Kuki or Karbi underground groups shall be allowed to collect tax in Dimapur even with the expressed understanding of Naga political groups.
8. All Naga political groups should bring out a “Tax Brochure” to avoid confusion so that yearly tax could be levied in a transparent manner . This is to eliminate middlemen, local musles and bogus national workers who have been taking advantage of the “taxation climate”.
Citing the NSCN (I-M) ato kilonser’s statements, that “sovereignty lies with the people”, the memorandum said it meant that the movement was for the people and by the Nagas. However it said the years of ceasefire period has watered down this ideal.
The memorandum urged upon the ato kilonser to “respect the wishes of the people and accept the memorandum” humbly submitted for his perusal. It also informed the ato kilonser that in the event of non-cooperation with the “people’s movement for a just society” the Naga civil society would not be responsible for “any cause and effect” that might undermine the NSCN (I-M) and other Naga political groups or “imperil the movement itself.” NPN