Thursday, June 13, 2024

Byrni Taxation, transport inspectorate in utter mess


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By Our Special Correspondent

 Shillong: The Meghalaya Taxation office at Byrnihat has no records of the number of trucks passing through the gate in the last one year, sources informed.

This office/outlet is meant to check if the ‘P’ forms and other papers are in order and that trucks are carrying only the permissible load.

Trucks exceeding the permissible limit are fined by the Department.

But a test check has revealed that the Superintendent of Taxes has no record of how many trucks pass through the gate each day and how much is realised for overloading or for other defaults.

Sources claim that receipt books charged for overloading are unsigned by the Taxation Inspectors. Also the details of collection daily collection have not been recorded in the computers in the past one year, ostensibly because of software and connectivity problems.

The sources further allege that officials manning the check gate could not give a clear answer about the net daily collection from overloaded trucks.

“It is shocking that the Gate Passes issued to thousands of trucks daily are neither signed nor sealed by the Taxation officer. This makes the receipts invalid,” the sources stated.

At Byrnihat the Transport Department also has a check gate to inspect the validity of the road permit, driving license and fitness of the vehicle but sources say that the officials posted there have admitted they cannot check all trucks since there is no space nor proper infrastructure or man power.

Many sections of the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) are violated by vehicles and the check gate is supposed to fine the violators. This is one source for revenue generation for the State, sources say. Even the random check yields on an average Rs 1-2 lakh per month. Under the MV Act it is mandatory to check all vehicles. So the Transport department is itself violating its own rules, sources said.

If according to the Police Department about 18,000 trucks pass through the State everyday and if each one is checked the revenue yield would have been quite a sum, the sources observed.

Incidentally sources say that the Transport inspectors are quick to check if the driver is wearing chappals. If he is, they fine him Rs 100 for the first time. If he repeats the offence the fine goes up to Rs 200. But how the inspector will determine if the driver is a second-time offender is not clear since no records are kept.

The weigh bridge at Umling also run by the Transport Department does not have proper records of revenue generated since their computer has been out of order for several months now, sources claim.

Interestingly the Taxation Inspectors are relatives of Congress MLAs, one of them being related to the Home Minister sources allege.

The Umkiang check gate is also suffering from similar maladies said the sources, adding that Meghalaya’s revenue generation section is in a complete mess.

“Despite being so haphazardly run the annual revenue generated is to the tune of Rs 270 crore, so imagine how much the State could earn if these systems run effectively,” the sources pointed out.

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