Kohima, September 16 (MExN): The Kohima District Truck Owners and Drivers’ Union (KDTODU) on Wednesday appealed the state government to check and stop all forms of illegal collection of cash and unabated taxation, failing which it would call for strike.
In a press release, the union said that all forms of illegal collection of cash at the check-gates, highways and unabated taxation from vehicles especially trucks by various law enforcing agencies, unions, public organisations and underground outfits are continuing at different points and check-gates starting from Dimapur entry gate till Imphal.
It also extended support to the Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation’s (ACAUT) plea to the government on illegal collections and syndicates, and condemned the “unscrupulous person from transport union who are hand in glove with some members of various Naga political groups.”
The union also denounced the practice of monopoly among transport syndicates which has resulted in upward spiral of prices of essential commodities causing hardship to the public.
It said that several of their members have complained about numerous illegal collections of taxes while carrying bricks from Ita Bata (brick kilns) and that they pay taxes to several underground factions and also pay not less than Rs 100 as road/bridge maintenance to each village they cross from Niuland till Purana bazaar.
The truck owners pay several taxes such as yearly/monthly and daily as the trucks ply on the highways, it said while adding that the union “cannot tolerate these illegal taxations anymore.” As such, it asked the State Government to check and stop the illegality, failing which the Union would call for a strike.
It questioned the state government as to why it could not stop all the taxation after implementing the GST in the state and further demanded the withdrawal of COVID cess on fuel.
Based on the complaint letter of the union, it said the Deputy Commissioner of Kohima has constituted an inquiry committee to check the illegal collection at check-gates and on highways in and around Kohima.
Accordingly, the Senior SP Kohima verbally assured the officials of KDTODU that he would ask the police not to take any cash from vehicles/trucks at the check gates “but it did not work at all as the collection of cash by Nagaland Police at the check gates continues,” it stated.
It said that the inquiry committee did not bring out any results till date and the union was never informed of any developments. “Hence, the KDTODU has lost all its hope upon assurance of the deputy commissioner and the Sr. SP Kohima,” it added.
Meanwhile, the union underscored that it had had listed illegal collection of cash at the check-gates and on highways with amounts enclosed with some of the receipt, in its complaint letter.
The KDTODU further asked the state government as to why it has failed to execute the government standing order of June 22, 2009, banning collection of taxes by any organisation or individual including government departments such as Police, Excise, Forest and Taxes etc., as well as the Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench judgment on June 3, 2014, disallowing the unions and associations from collecting taxes on highways.