Dimapur Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) on Monday said that alarming increase in ‘illegal taxation’ by various groups has crippled the entire business community of the state’s commercial hub Dimapur.
The DCCI added that beginning last year, the scale of illegal taxation in Dimapur has gone so high, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Multiple illegal taxation imposed by various groups starts right from train wagons to godowns and extends till the showroom or respective shops. Besides the yearly taxation imposed by various groups to each and every shop, these groups have also started imposing taxes item-wise, stated DCCI.
As disclosed by DCCI, a new type of harassment to the business community in the form of random checking and raids on godowns by various groups has emerged.
“Some groups are going to the extent of imposing heavy penalties on godowns storing damaged goods or expired item. Here the business community would like to clarify that there are certain norms and procedures with regard to damaged goods and expired items,” it said adding, “We have to store the expired items and damaged goods in godowns as companies give refund for such goods. After due process the expired or damaged items are either returned to respective companies or later destroyed. Flimsy imposition of penalties on damaged and expired items by any group or vigilantes is uncalled for and unwarranted.”
The business community sought an answer or solution from groups regarding expired items kept in godowns and asked where they should store expired or damaged goods before due process of refund or disposing is done.
It also said that prices of essential commodities and other goods are presently much cheaper in adjoining border towns like Lahorijan or Khatkhati or even Kohima and other towns in the state than in Dimapur itself because the various groups have targeted Dimapur as their tax base and the multiple tier of taxation even on a single business outlet is confounding.
The DCC said despite numerous representations to the government and district administration and press releases in the local media highlighting the plight of business community due to illegal taxation, the government of the day is still in deep slumber.
Stating that the business community is contributing a major chunk of revenue to the state government in the form of GST, the DCCI asked the state government – whether they should pay taxes to the various groups or the state government as the business community can no longer bear the brunt of multi-tier taxation.
It said the ball is now in the court of the state government to decide and act upon the menace of illegal taxation. The business community of Dimapur has no option but to take extreme measures including closure of all shops and business houses if the government turns a blind eye to the plight of the business community, it added.
DCCI also requested the Dimapur district administration to allow opening of all shops and business houses on all weekdays except Sundays.
it also urged that Dimapur Municipal Council to do away with item-wise toll tax to ease the burden of traders and businessmen.
Further, DCCI cautioned all shops and business houses not to indulge in any kind of illegal or unfair trade practices.