After objections were raised by Tura MDC Bernard Marak over the legality of the (Trading by Non-Tribals) Tenth Amendment Regulation Bill 2020, the Meghalaya Chamber of Commerce in Tura has sought the immediate repeal of the bill, calling it illegal as well as unfair to traders belonging to the non-tribal community.
A memorandum on the matter was submitted today to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council CEM, Benedict Marak, by the MCC, which cited what it called irregularities in procedure as well as in the collection of fees from the non-tribal traders by taxation officials.
“How can cash amounts be collected by taxation officials from the traders just by showing the new regulation papers? There has been no consent of the Governor to the bill and, without it, the bill cannot become a law or enacted in practice,” said MCC president Wilver G Danggo.
Danggo further mentioned that the new rates in the fresh regulation were too high when compared to earlier.
“An amount, which was earlier Rs 3,000, has been hiked to Rs 10,000. We are aware that the bill was passed recently but the new quoted amount was taken from non-tribal traders while they were renewing their TNT licences in March 2021,” added Wilver.
The MCC cautioned that the increase in TNT licence fees could have a ripple effect on prices in Garo Hills, with traders looking to pass the extra cost to consumers.
“It will be the common people who will suffer due to rising prices after such hefty sums are taken for licence renewal,” he added.