Mawhati MLA seeks action against ‘taxation’ on broomstick farmers

SHILLONG, March 27: Congress MLA from Mawhati Charles Marngar on Monday sought Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s intervention against Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council’s alleged imposition of tax on the broomstick farmers of his constituency.
Informed that the KACC, through the gates of its Forest department, collects Rs 8 per kg as tax from the broomstick farmers, the MLA said, “I would request upon Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma to give an assurance that he would immediately take this matter with the Assam in the best interest of the farmers of this constituency.”
Marngar also alleged that the broomstick farmers are required to pay Rs 15,000 as taxes per pick-up truck to the KAAC.
Informing that the KACC has leased out the operation of these gates to private parties, Marngar said the farmers are faced with hardships in view of the taxation.
“A majority of the farmers of this area depend on broomstick cultivation for their livelihood,” he said, adding that the taxation is nothing but the exploitation of the farmers.
Conrad, in his reply, informed that the state government has been pursuing the matter at the deputy commissioner level since March last year. “The discussions are going on. I want to say that the government is committed to resolve the grievances faced by the farmers,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also proposed the idea about the KHADC waiving off the taxes on broomsticks.
“The farmers will greatly benefit if such reforms are being taken by the KHADC,” the chief minister said.

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