Monday, November 28, 2022

Angry traders thrash KAAC tax officials in Bokajan

A tensed situation prevailed in the Sukhanjan area of okajan Town on Thrusday when some officials of the KAAC Taxation Department who had come to inspect ‘Trade License’ of business establishments faced the warth of local traders in the area.
As per information gathered from locals, the taxation officials who were conducting random inspection of ‘Trade License’ in the area, engaged in a heated argument with the traders following which the traders downed their shutters and assembled in protest against the department officials. Passersby and onlookers joined in to make the gathering large. The involvement of a third-party goon identified as Bijay Singh further escalated the matter leading to a physical scuffle between the disgruntled traders and the department officials, in which, a civilian and a department official suffered minor injuries. The civilian was trying to settle the dispute amicably among the two parties.
Meanwhile, the police intervened to rescue the department officials and took them to the police station. The traders also launched a protest march and gathered infront of the police station. The police had to use moderate force to control the situation and disperse the crowd. “We have registered a case in Bokajan Police Station and a detailed investigation is on. Four person identified as Rajkumar Rai, Raju Tripathi, Ajay Singh and Jaggu Shah have been picked in connection. We shall take strict action against those involved. We are assessing the video footages of the incident and more arrest to follow.” SDPO John Das informed.
It may be noted that the Taxation Department of KAAC, in order to boost revenue, have hiked the annual tax of ‘Trade Licence’ by hundred percent and have allegedly brought in some bizarre rules and regulations of trade in Karbi Anglong.
“As per the new rule, ‘Trade Licence’ is mandatory for all business establishments including the marginal traders. Any business or profession, right from a petty cobbler to a barber has to obtain ‘Trade Licence’ to run business within the KAAC administered areas. There are also restrictions on the sale of multiple goods item under one license. For example, a pan shop is authorised to sell only pan and nothing else. Sell of chocolates, packaged water, cold drinks and chips would attract other professional tax”, a trader lamented.
The Thursday’s incident highlights the ongoing fear and apprehension among the traders about the motive of the KAAC Taxation Department for keeping the renewal of their ‘Trade Licence’ pending in the Diphu office and harassing the traders in the name of inspection at regular intervals. Businesses suffer as traders prefer to keep their shops closed whenever they hear about an inspection by the department officials.
Most of the traders also alleged that the renewal of their ‘Trade License’ is pending in the office of the Taxation Department, Diphu even after payment of enhances fees and other professional taxes since the past 8-9 months.
Such activities of the department have led to confusions in general and have triggered widespread resentment among the traders that resulted in Thrusday’s incident.
A section of traders have also alleged that the tax officials are collecting fines in cash without issuing any valid money receipt and also consume food in the hotels without making payments. “They came to my hotel a couple of days back and enquired about my ‘Trade License’. When I replied in negative, one of the lady officer asked me to arrange lunch for the entire team of 7 person for three consecutive days”, a hotel owner said.

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