Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Check gate removal yet to impact market

Staff Reporter

Public perception that dismantling of all check gates except inter-state as ordered by the state government , would result in reduction in prices of various items in the market has not happened which may indicate that either sellers don’t want to reduce prices or that multiple taxes are responsible for sky high price was a bogey.
This aspect was revealed when Nagaland Post met a cross section of people including traders in Dimapur, Kohima and Mokokchung about the impact of the recent government ban order.
It was found that some sellers of perishable items had marginally reduced prices by only around 25 to 50 paisa per kg following the removal of all unauthorised check gates.
A trader dealing in perishable items such a fruits and vegetables maintained that the rates existing before the ban order and post-ban order had no impact on the prices of items except very marginally.
However, there was some marked reduction in prices of construction items such as cement and MS Rods. Prior to the ban on multiple taxation at various check gates, the price of a 50 kg bag of cement used to be sold at Rs.510 and after the ban was imposed, the price has come down to Rs.490 per bag.
Similarly, MS Rod which used to be sold at Rs.80 to 85 per kg before the ban, has come down to Rs.70 to 75 after the ban.
Before the ban prices of these items at Dimapur were costlier than at Khatkhati but after the ban, the prices prevailing at both Dimapur and Khatkhati are almost the same.
A dealer at Dimapur claimed that the rates of cement and rod per kg have come down because the rates were reduced by manufacturers across India.
In Kohima, a resident told Nagaland Post that the prices remained the same as fixed by authorities. The same was the input gathered from residents of Mokokchung.
The message from the residents of both towns was that authorities need to seriously assess the pricing of various commodities sold in the market in order to determine the rate(s) to be fixed. This appears to be a lacuna of market price fixation.
There are also reports that the collectors may be giving the slip or traversing the ban by carrying out their business through ingenuous means or acting like mobile check posts wherever transport trucks unload their goods.
Another resident of Mokokchung appreciated the positive outcome of removal of “taxation gates” but felt that at the same time, police and authorities need to relook at the virtual free entry since there was real threat posed by unhindered smuggling of drugs and liquor.
There were some who also feared that removal of check gates had in a way, disabled police from preventing a check to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the state. Enforcement has become lax owing to orders that specifically barred police from conducting checks unless in presence of a team led by ADC(HQ), Addl.SP/Addl.DCP,DTO and DPRO.
This point becomes pertinent in the light of a recent statement by Commissioner of Police Dimapur, Rothithu Tetseo who told media that police were not permitted to stop vehicles at check gates for ILP unless there was specific information. He said any such check had to be undertaken in presence of the designated Inspection Team.
As per the notification issued through home commissioner, no policeman would be able to check or inspect a vehicle without the presence of the inspection team headed by ADC (HQ), additional SP/ Addl DCP, DTO and DPRO.
The notification had also ruled that a traffic policeman would also not be able to check documents like driving license and registration of a vehicle without the presence of the inspection team.
A resident of Dimapur said a free entry would be like annulling the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) or amending it since it would only enable free flow of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL)from Assam.

CNTC asks why prices haven’t come down

Central Nagaland Tribes Council (CNTC) while lauding the state government for heeding to the long cry of common people by removing the check-gates, at the same time asked why prices of essential commodities have not yet come down.
Further, CNTC noted that when fuel prices had also come down, prices of all goods were yet to come down, adding that there seemed to be no respite for the common man.
Levying of taxes on transporting agencies and goods-carrying vehicles at multiple check gates was said to be the main reason of rise in prices. So, when all these gates had been removed, prices should also have come down accordingly though this had not been the case, it added. CNTC urged the State government to immediately look into this matter and relieve the common public from this menace.


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