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With GST here, people of Nagaland want 'rebel govts' to also levy just one tax

Nagaland has at least nine extremists groups that impose an array of 'donations' -- income, shop, commercial, house tax -- on the public to generate revenue for their 'governments'. (Representative image) Photograph: (Zee News Network)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 01, 2017, 05.08 AM (IST)

With GST here, the people of Nagaland want "rebel governments" in the state to also levy just one tax on them. 

The Hindustan Times reported that while "most communities in Nagaland, including the Nagas, are listed as scheduled tribes and are thus exempt from income tax under section 10(26) of the Income Tax Act... almost everyone – police officers too – pays income tax to several underground governments, the rate varying from 12-24% of a month’s salary or income."

It added that "Nagaland has at least nine extremist groups that impose an array of ‘donations’ – income, shop, commercial and house tax – to generate revenue for their 'governments'. The rebels say it is their right to collect such taxes but do not specify if they spend the taxpayers’ money for civic projects."

The Hindustan Times reported locals as saying a GST-like, one "rebel government" tax would "kill two birds with one stone – ease the fiscal burden on the common man who ends up paying half his earnings as taxes to non-legitimate governments and unify all rebel outfits for the 'Naga political cause' of uniting all Naga-inhabited areas under one administrative umbrella."

“We are insisting on one tax, and an end to multiple taxes will make the Naga political groups unify,” the Hindustan Times reported Khekaghu Meru, co-chairman of Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT), a citizens group formed in 2014 to protest extortion and multiple levies, as saying. 

It added that the group’s advocacy has previously forced rebel groups to slash their "tax" rates and reduce exorbitant levies on shopkeepers and small traders.

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