bbing Middlemen

It is heartening to learn that Shymal Prasad Saikia, Superintendent of Police, Kokrajhar, has found a way of identifying and arresting seven of the 200-odd middlemen operating at the Srirampur check gate.  In order to b these seven dalals or middlemen, Saikia had to disguise himself as a truck driver. This is a situation that underscores three important facts of the tax collection scerio that prevails at the check gates of the State. One is that there is massive leakage of the State’s revenue at our check gates, with only a fraction of what is due to the exchequer actually coming into our treasuries. Another is that over the years, the practice of permitting middlemen to operate has been in force because government officers have been using their services and permitting them to function, instead of doing everything possible to elimite middlemen. When such unconstitutiol practices get accepted as convenient means of diverting the revenue of the State to private coffers, one can assess how middlemen are permitted to exist only because the diversion of the State’s revenue to private coffers and to terrorist outfits has become a major vested interest. Thirdly, this defrauding of the State’s exchequer with the help of middlemen has been going on systematically over the decades because the amounts involved in the business of transferring the State’s revenue to private are astronomical. As we have maintained repeatedly, Assam’s present tax revenue would have to be at least 5,000 to 10,000 times the revenue collected in the year 1971, going by the value of the goods coming into the State. If the entire amount of tax revenue had accrued to the State, Assam would have had a surplus budget year after year.

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