Tuesday, June 21, 2011


When a section of renowned and august personalities of the Indian sub-continent are on the heels to uproot corruption and are conspicuously vociferous against the social evils and impropriety, the continuance of the marathon flow of rampant corruption in the border check posts of Assam has posed to be an acute threat to the sound and healthy economy in the field of revenue generation of Assam. The trend of corruption in encouraging and accelerating the revenue drainage of the State is, undoubtedly, the social and economic crime and obviously attracts coercive measures. The border check posts of Assam were established since 1971-72 with a view to arrest the tax evasion and thereby to augment the State revenue. The check posts of the other departments, like transport, forest, excise and P.W.D. are also simultaneously functioning in a composite manner or with independent entity, having the aim and object to ensure proper revenue generation of the State. There seems to be, of late, a dearth of sincerity and lack of good will in such noble mission. The revenue generation is always incremental and certain factors are involved in such high revenue rise year after year., When, on the contrary, any acute lapse in such ardent exercise is visible for any negligence of duty or connivance of the tax machinery or collusion with the traders, it tantamount to be a deep cause of agony and a shadow of darkness surrounds the prospective dazzling revenue scenario.
Contrary to the original aims and objects, an unhealthy happening has been coming in sight through the screen of the publicity and the flushing of the news media. A sensitive citizen has the reasons to be ashamed, when a truck driver makes the innocent open expression that while coming across the other Border States, like Bihar and West Bengal etc. without any element of black money, they are victimized with illegal and unreasonable demands for such black money, while entering into the State of Assam. The earning of black money at the cost of the State Government revenue is, no doubt, very unfortunate and it is offensive and quite detrimental to the public interest.
It is appreciated that adequate measures have been taken by the taxing authorities to ensure revenue collection by way of mobilization of inner records through hi-tech exercises, but ,in fact, this is a theoretical approach and an effort to unveil the position of hide out revenue and to make recovery thereof from deep slumber under the cover of the records. The ardent necessity, what is felt, is to check and arrest the unaccounted inflow of goods and to discourage the consequential tax dodging activities on the sales. Such an endeavour seems to be legging far behind at these instant hours.
The check posts are the watch dogs to curb and arrest the evasion of tax revenue at the source, but there is no ‘Weigh bridge’ installed at the check posts primarily to ascertain the actual weight of the goods carried, which aptly differs with the covering Challan manifests in many cases. There is no broad platform in the check posts with proper and suitable man-power to unload the goods and to get proper account on the qualitative weight and value thereof. In many cases, such illegal carriage of goods uses to move scot free. The affairs of the check posts presently continues with the go as it is practice with broad-based British Ex-Premier Walford’s vision “Let the sleeping dog lie.” In last part of the 20th century and first part of this century, continuous raids to inspect, examine and to detect the tax dodging activities at the places of businesses of traders, godowns and warehouses gained the momentum and a substantial yield of revenue achieved as well. The transporters being the co-partners of such of such mal-activities, playing the pivotal role in such tax dodging episode, were, as well, not spared. There was, no doubt, high handedness in such raid exercises indulging personal gain under the shadow of some so called big banyan tree like personalities. The law of the land was very much there to apprehend such odds. Hence, the Government ought to have accepted it as a challenge and discourage the same in firm hands instead of bidding a good bye to such a fruitful and unhygienic revenue- generated programme.
The issue and utilization of the ‘Delivery Notes’, to make proper accounting of the imported goods, in fact, sometimes prove to be the farce and in practical sense, a parallel unaccounted flow of business runs without any tax liability in many cases. The Transit Passes issued to move the\goods from one State to other through the corridor of Assam amounts, on many occasions, to be a breach of trust in as much as some quantity of such goods hardly moves across the check post and are sold within the State of Assam.
The taxing authorities have been well equipped for administration of the tax laws by virtue of delegation powers, but a break of the continued system for last six decades becomes obvious, as the incumbents responsible for power exercise solely are dependable on the direction and dictation of high ups, exercising the so-called unitary power. The character and quality of quasi-judicial exercise is thus practically getting a crack.
Our concern is that the good name of the taxation department is to be restored and it should not be the subjected to criticism at any level, more particularly, the news or in the publicity media. There needs a profound review on the shortfalls of the functionaries with a designed renovation. The primary duty of the State Government is, therefore, to take note of the deficiency and to initiate action for aversion of rampant corruption at this stage, which has already polluted the healthy atmosphere.