DIMAPUR, April 12 � Failing to understand why the Nagaland Government could not issue an order against deduction of 24 per cent from salaries of State Government employees and five per cent from development funds as tax to various Naga Political Groups (NPGs), Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) Nagaland has asked the State Chief Secretary to issue notification to all departments to stop such deductions.
The media cell of ACAUT, in a statement on Friday, reminded the Chief Secretary that taxation demand in any form meant harassment for employees.
The ACAUT said during the course of its investigation it was found that most of the government servants stopped paying the 24 per cent tax to various NPGs which was in line with its clarion call against unabated taxation.
However, ACAUT said it could not understand why the State Government, which is supposed to protect its employees, could not stop this deduction from salaries and development funds.
It also said since its formation in 2013, many Chief Secretaries had come and gone but none had addressed the issue of taxation that was �a direct affront to the Government of Nagaland�.
The ACAUT said for all intents and purpose, government servants were left to helplessly fend for themselves and therefore demanded that the Chief Secretary issue a notification in consideration of the following:
�A big chunk of the budget of NPGs come from taxation (24 per cent deduction) on salaries of 1,20,000 government servants, that has to be stopped,� the statement said while alleging that drawal and disbursing officers (DDOs) �enthusiastically� deduct 24 per cent as tax from salaries for NPGs. It further alleged that many DDOs have vested interest in deduction as they get a share of the amount.
The ACAUT claimed that in many cases DDOs �simply deduct the amount� even without any notice from NPGs and therefore demanded that a circular be issued to caution DDOs against such practice.
�NPGs demand a cut of five per cent as development tax from departments against annual works programme and the amount comes to hundreds of crores of rupees,� it said and noted that five per cent deduction by NPGs has �serious ramification� on the department in carrying out developmental works in a free and transparent manner.
The ACAUT pointed out that NPG cadres know the exact amount to be released as payment to contractors/firms, down to the paisa, even before HoDs/chief engineers/executive engineers were aware of it. It said this points to a �collusion between the point persons� in the disbursing departments and the cadres. Further, it said, often the five per cent tax deduction is not paid at the HoD level but negotiated to a lesser percentage.
Sometimes, deduction is not paid at the HoD level but negotiated to a less amount at the level of contractors/firms and demanded that the Chief Secretary take serious note of the matter.
The ACAUT also demanded that the Chief Secretary notify that in case any tax demand was received, the HoDs or Head of Offices at the district level report the matter immediately to DCs and SPs after which it should be reported to the Chief Secretary.
It also urged the Chief Secretary to direct all District Planning and Development Boards (DPDBs) headed by DCs to resolve that no department shall pay any tax to any NPGs and that DCs regularly interact with Chamber of Commerce/Traders Unions of the district to assess the situation on the ground.
The ACAUT further demanded that any DDO found deducting salaries or developmental fund be prosecuted and asked the Chief Secretary to take immediate remedial steps on the issue.