ACAUT not against ‘Naga movement’

• ‘Public Awareness Rally’ to be held as scheduled on October 31
• ACAUT requests NSCN (IM) to extend co-operation for the rally
• ACAUT appeals to Indian government to immediately stop provocation

DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 29 (MExN): The Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) has stated that the “cry of the common man being undeniable,” the ‘Public Awareness Rally’ will be held as scheduled on October 31 and has “requested” the NSCN (IM) to extend co-operation for the rally. This was stated in a press note issued by the Media Cell, ACAUT. It may be mentioned that the NSCN (IM) had taken a decision to “disallow” the rally.

In this regard, the ACAUT has clarified to the NSCN (IM) that it is not against the Naga political solution or the Naga movement. “It is not opposed to any of the Naga Political Groups (NPGs) as is being made out nor is it against any organisation and individual,” it stated. However, the ACAUT is “against a system which has diluted the peoples mandated movement of its sheen and mass support much to the dismay and angst of the Naga people.” “Time and again, ACAUT has reiterated that multiple and unabated taxation has done nothing but harmed the interest of the Naga people and the common man.”

Further, according to ACAUT, “unabated taxation is affecting every strata of society and consequently the emotional appeal of the Naga movement for sovereignty is being undermined.” In that, the ACAUT has merely appealed “to the leaderships of the NPGs to rein in wayward cadres and put its house in order.”

The ACAUT has also mentioned about the memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister on August 30, asking the State Government “to set its house in order too, namely the illegal collections by police and other departments, the DMC imbroglio, the issue of illegal immigrants and corruption in developmental works, etc.” The press note stated that the State Government refused to acknowledge this despite time extension on expiry of the ultimatum. “The ACAUT was left with no choice but to announce the go ahead with its programme on October 31.”

The ACAUT stated that it “sincerely wishes that an honourable political solution is found for the Naga nation,” and also told “the Indian government and its paramilitary forces that it strongly condemns interference in matters which are purely the internal kitchen matters of the Naga family.” “That the Assam Rifles chose to take advantage of family dispute and surround Hebron Camp is most condemnable and an act of betrayal. This action has jeopardized the job of the ACAUT and periled the lives of its members for which the Assam Rifles shall be responsible,” stated the ACAUT and appealed to the Indian government that “in the interest of peace, this provocation be stopped immediately.”

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Untuck your tails

 

By: Khekiye K. Sema IAS (Rtd)

In a claustrophobic atmosphere surcharged with confused priorities it is an opportune moment to spend some quality time to analyze our predicament.
Scenario I: The Nagas declared their historical and inherent right as a Nation free of foreign yoke on 14th August 1947. To anchor this claim for self determination a National Movement emerged in the form of NNC and the Federal Government of Nagaland. Up to this point the honorable National picture is untarnished. Then all hell broke loose with Shillong Accord of 1975.
NSCN picked up the broken pieces. Human frailties and suspicion took over the reigns and since then we have had a multi-fragmentation of this organization mushrooming into so many unexplained Factions. The people of Nagaland have watched all these self destructive developments from a distance with complete detachment and indifference as if it has nothing to do with them. Not a single determined question has been raised by any apex forum or organization to compel all the factions to publically explain their stand and their differences that has induced them to stay apart despite the objective being the same.

It is not enough for one faction to give a blanket verbiage that they are fighting for sovereignty. So are all the other. All of them are. No! This is not enough! This is a core definition that is owed to the people by all the factions to explain the legitimacy of their existence. It could be for a valid reason as much as it may not. It would however provide the citizens of Nagaland an opportunity to understand, appreciate and endeavor for a constructive corrective alternative of unity with clarity for all our sakes.
Thus far, we have allowed confusion to reign supreme instead. We have allowed ourselves to be sucked into the vortex of the storm.

Scenario II: The negative cascading impact of so many undefined factions in existence has perpetuated the problem that we now wrestle with. With the birth of an organization comes the inalienable need of funds to keep it operational. Therefore… taxation.
Guns scare aside, since we have not and do not seem to want them to explain their presence we must therefore necessarily bear the responsibility to fend for the expenses for all the eight factions, whether their existence is legitimate or otherwise. That is the price we pay for our indifference.

Scenario III: Greed takes precedence over sovereignty. Now all the factions selfishly lose control and create their separate network of taxation directly and through their dealership syndicates for every conceivable commodity on earth. The common man gets overburdened with heavy taxation at every turn and cries out in pain at the uncontrolled spiraling of living cost impossible to negotiate.
They finally realize that they are damned to continue like this. This intolerable pressure on daily existence finally gives birth to ACAUT who picks up the cudgel that the Naga Hoho should rightly have done, had they not preferred to hoist their yellow flag and instead concentrate on contract and supply work.

Scenario IV: The ACAUT is the outcome of the will of the people expressing their utter frustration and inability to tolerate the continuous threat of guns and taxation every waking moment of their lives for so very long a time. The people of Nagaland want to be relieved of all the accesses being committed to the extremities. The people of Nagaland do not see any other ghost “intelligence groups” trying to create division other than to see the most corrupted threat of the underground greed in the guise of sovereign taxation.
Yet the NSCN (I-M) has the audacity to term ACAUT as an “illegal organization” with “no voice” to teach them what to do and not to do on taxation. (Nagaland Post 10th August 2013). This is gun backed arrogance at its best. Given all the organizations in Nagaland the ACAUT at present carries the deepest gratitude and endorsement of all the common people of Nagaland who form the majority.
It is not the prerogative of the NSCN (I-M) to recognize or derecognize ACAUT as legal or illegal neither is it required. The oppressed people of Nagaland have this authority and they not only RECOGNIZE it as the MOST LEGAL ORGANIZATION in Nagaland but cheer them on to honestly and fairly give their best with courage so that this dastardly homemade yoke is removed.
The Underground Factions (yes I am aware that they resent being referred to as undergrounds but have they honorably earned any other name?) must realize that the common man is now desperately struggling for his individual sovereignty to survive from day to day.  It is for NSCN (I-M) and all the other underground factions to see the writings on the wall, if gray matter still exists amongst them beyond their insatiable greed.

It says “don’t kill the goose that is laying the golden eggs”. Their garden of Aden will stop bearing fruits at the rate they all are strangling their people and poisoning the soil. Better senses should prevail through temperance of their accesses.
Finally, reading a column in Eastern Mirror of 10th August 2013 that said “one official from the NSCN (I-M) even warned ACAUT that strong action would be initiated if ACAUT tries to brainwash people by expanding its association to other districts in Nagaland” really takes the cake.

Yet again the brawn rearing its head to suppress the brain… Does it take a hungry man to be brainwashed to look for food? It comes naturally and instinctively. The people of Nagaland may not have reached the point of starvation but the road they are travelling on is awfully rough and difficult to negotiate like that of the Nagaland PWD roads. They would want to smoothen it out with or without threat from that official.

If Mr. Official is the reading type checks out Nagaland Post 10th August 2013 publication. ACAUT did not have to prompt or ‘brainwash’ the people of Zunheboto and yet they have formed a Steering Committee Against Price Rise and Unabated Taxation (SCAPRUT) and proposes to hold a meeting on the 12th of August at Hotel Heritage, wherever that is. Way to go Zunheboto way to go!  That NSCN (I-M) official should attend this meeting and threaten them as well?

Meanwhile, I have not been able to help myself from thinking aloud what has happened to all the good people of other districts of Nagaland as if this is a problem of strangers that does not impact on them directly. Their tails must be tired being tucked between their legs for so long. They should un-tuck it and relieve themselves like some other Districts are doing. The time is now!

“NSCN (IM) rules & guidelines for protection of the general public against illegal Tax, 2013”

1. Every Naga and others residing in Nagalim shall pay tax to the Nation for the national cause.

2. All forms of double taxation from the same items/goods amounting to double tax on general public are forbidden including:
Double taxation for the same goods from godown to market;
– Double taxation of the same goods through un-authorised double dealership and sub-dealership;
– Double taxation for the same good from transport and markets
– Double taxation on commercial vehicles in the name of transport registration.

3. Exemption of tax from second hand vehicles purchased from auction.

4. Exemption of annual taxes for the newly established local shop/enterprises for the first one year.

5. Ban of taxes from local consumers for non-commercial purposes including construction of materials within Nagalim.

6. Ban on collection of illegal taxes including un-authorised gated by the Regional authorities.

7. Exemption of yearly tax on new commercial vehicles from local entrepreneurs/owners for the first one year.

8. Ban on collection of illegal tax on all local goods and products including agro products, indigenous livestock etc.

9. Ban on collection of illegal tax from local vegetable vendors, butcher house, weekly bazaar etc.

10. Ban of all monopoly through Syndicate system by the National workers and general public.

11. Ban on collection of tax by illegal groups in Nagalim.

12. Ban on utilization of anti-social elements for the purpose of tax collection.

13. Exemption of tax on Naga Entrepreneurs setting up factory unit within Nagalim for the first three years. Other inventories required for the project including import and export of raw materials shall be relaxed for the same period.

14. Strict adherence to the tax rate fixed by the Government

15. Ban on collection of tax in the form of donations by the Civil Societies and National Workers.

16. Stringent check against all extraneous sectors, groups or elements within and without who has the clear intent to disturb the peace and tranquility of the general public and the government.

17. All concerned Ministries and other sectors shall co-operate in the implementation of the Rules and Guidelines.

Ministry of Chaplee Affairs
NSCN/ GPRN

RSU joins ACAUT fight against taxation

NTIMES 10JUN: Rongmei Students’ Union Dimapur (RSUD) has extended its support to the Action Committee Against Unabated Tax (ACAUTs) fight against illegal taxation, extortion and dealership and syndicate system.

Stating that everything has its limits, RSUD acting president Jenpu Rongmei and general secretary Gainempu Gonmei in a press release has asked all concerned Naga undergrounds and anti-social elements to “stop testing the goodwill and patience of Nagas.”

The students’ union also called upon all right thinking organisations and student bodies to come forward and join the initiative to resolve the menace of unabated taxation, which it claimed is the main culprit for economic destabilization.

It also pointed out that unreasonable taxing has been creating fear psychosis in the minds of capable and talented youths whose attempt to venture out on entrepreneurship or any sort of business are being restrained and thus leading to more unemployment problems.

Calling upon all sections of the people to stand firm in combating the menace of illegal taxation and extortion, the students’ union has also appealed the competent authorities to curb the menace and restore normalcy in society. NPN

NSCN (I-M) silent on ‘tax’

NTIMES 6JUN:  Ten days after the Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT), under the aegis of Naga council and other frontal organizations sought a sitting with the NSCN (I-M) leadership to discuss on possible streamlining of rampant taxation, ‘dealership and syndicate system’ issue, the latter has so far failed to commit on a date.

One ACAUT member told Nagaland Post if NSCN (I-M) failed to respond in the next few days, ACAUT members would initiate the next course of action, which would begin with a bandh in Dimapur district on June 10 (Monday).

The basis for this silence, according to sources was an ‘internal debate’ within NSCN (I-M) leadership on the issue of ‘syndicate and dealership system’ which it had purportedly introduced recently.

There seemed to be a dispute between those in favour of the dealership system and those against it, sources said.

Some NSCN (I-M) functionaries who have secured the dealership on different items/commodities were learnt to have already received ‘commissions/payments’ from their so called business partners who were the “go-in-between” in managing dealings in the market, one reason for which a meeting point apparently could not be reached.

ACAUT, meanwhile, justifiably exasperated on being made to wait for so long, said they have forwarded the memorandum on the resolve of the civil societies, which have already reached the table of NSCN (I-M) top leaders Th. Muivah and Isak Chishi Swu at Hebron camp.

Moreover, the group’s finance committee members already had a meeting held few days back to discuss on this issue. The cabinet and steering committee members also convened a similar sitting Wednesday, sources informed.

With searing support coming in from different civil societies from all around the state coming in on the taxation issue, NSCN (I-M) leaders through unofficial sources have reportedly asked ACAUT to wait for some more days, so that their internal issues could be resolved first before any meeting takes place.

The ACAUT decision to call the Dimpaur bandh was taken at the meeting of the civil bodies and public organizations Wednesday. NPN

Who are we paying?

By: Benjamin Yeputhomi

Are we being dominated by a group of vested people/organizations or are we turning a blind eye to the rampant extortion that is going on? Who is the victim ? The consumers, and who are the consumers? We, the general public. Several organizations in Dimapur have resolved that there would be ‘only one tax’ payable to any faction of the underground. A clear sign which indicates, that Nagas have woken up from deep slumber.

Let me cite some negative effects of the existing multiple taxation practiced in Nagaland.
Firstly there are two routes to Dimapur:
1) Dillai gate
2) New field Check Gate
Here, each truck is levied the following taxes:
Entry Tax
Vehicle tax
Consignment tax

Some details of the taxes are as follows:
Edible oil per trip (Dmp-Ghy) – Rs. 8000
Edible oil per trip (Ghy-Dmp) – Rs. 10000
Egg per trip (Ghy-Dmp) – Rs. 6000-8000
Fertilizer 6 Wheeler per trip (Ghy-Dmp) – Rs. 4000
Fertilizer 10 wheeler per trip (Ghy-Dmp) – Rs. 6000
Fruits per trip (Ghy-Dmp) – Rs. 5000-6000
Fresh fish per trip (Ghy-Dmp) – Rs. 8000 + 1000 (lorry tax)
Hardware per trip – Rs. 5000
Hardware 6 wheeler per trip (Ghy-Dmp) – Rs.7000
Hardware 10 wheeler per trip (Ghy-Dmp) – Rs. 9000-10000
Besides this, taxes are again levied on the same commodities after reaching the destination (godowns), and yet again on reaching the market.
Taxes levied on footpath vendors: (Specially on mutton, pork, chicken and fish)

NSCN/GPRN (IM): Rs.30 per day
GPRN/NSCN: Rs.30 per day
FGN: Rs. 30 per day

On top of all this, some vested individuals/organizations have started the practice of syndicate or dealership system to add to the woes of “We Nagas”. Under this system, a farmer/individual cannot sell his product without approval from the concerned syndicate, a market system where a few individual decides as and when to increase the price and supply of commodities as per their convenience (profit). This is basically a process of monopolizing the market. If this evil practice is not rooted out now, the control of price, supply and demand will fall into the hands of few individuals. What will be the fate of the consumers? And let’s not forget our local farmers and entrepreneurs? How will they earn their livelihood?

Dimapur besides being the nerve centre of Nagaland, also serves as supply route to Manipur. It effects not only Dimapur but the entire state of Nagaland. Let us voice out and promote an open market where everyone can buy and sell fairly. Are we willing to compromise the quality and price of our daily needs by turning a blind eye to such a practice?

I have cited some facts above, so that every reader/individual can do the math on why we pay such a high price on every commodity. And what if, each and every organization decides to follow this system, imagine what will be ‘The cost of living in nagaland’? It is obvious that the price of commodities will escalate, which means depletion of our savings.

The reason behind this is not to defame any person or organization but to support the proposal of ‘only one tax’ per annum, and also to voice out against the system of dealership/syndicate.

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.