Nagaland a land of taxation

 

By: Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd), Forest Colony, Kohima

OOHH it is pathetic! It is disgusting! It is Shameful!!!… Just read the press coverage on DAN’s first coordination committee meeting of June 4th 2013. (Nagaland Post). The DAN Government appreciates “the role of the NGO’s and mass based organizations in addressing the burden of taxation in Naga society. DAN extended its fullest support and cooperation (can you beat the joke …DAN EXTENDS its fullest support) to the initiative and appealed to all sections of the people to stand firm in combating the menace of taxation”. And to think that the people of Nagaland had been under the impression that they voted in a Government …not an NGO.
Granted, the MLAs are where they are because of their vote buying capability only. It has nothing to do with faith being reposed. Be that as it may, the crux of the matter is that now they are in power and running the Government. Does it not occur to them that it is their direct responsibility to address and combat the menace of illegal taxation rather than extend support?! What have we got ourselves into here? In the first place, the political class has been so engrossed in raising their own questionable taxes to win an election that they had paid absolutely no attention to the activities of their partners in crime committing excesses beyond tolerance. Does the Government not feel the slap on the face that the NGO are braving the situation to do what the Govt. ought to be doing?  Beneath that face with a hide of an elephant, there should still be a modicum of gray matter one would believe.

It is more than about time to use what little there is and crack down on the back breaking illegal taxes that is crippling the masses. At least use the Government machinery to help generate public opinion and mass involvement rather than pass the buck. Or is the Government being deliberately passive on this issue for fear of a boomerang impact? It is a common sentiment that the Government should withdraw its tail from between the legs and act. Why preach the people to stand firm when “standing firm” is a non-existing term in the dictionary of the Government?

Why call Nagaland a land of festivals? It is much more relevant and appropriate to call Nagaland a land of taxation.

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