OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, June 27: The limestone exporters from Dawki Land Custom Station under War Jaintia Limestone and Boulder Stone Export Association (WJLBSTE) have dared the government to arrest them for alleged flouting of norms. The association on Saturday showed official papers issued by the State government and claimed that they have done nothing wrong in insisting that export to Bangladesh should resume.
While the State Minister of Forest and Environment Prestone Tynsong has allegedly stated that a group of exporters and the customs are trying to override the directive of the State government, the spokesperson of WJLBSTE Dolly Khonglah said in Shillong on Saturday, “How can we override or impose ourselves when the official papers clearly illustrated the procedures of resuming our export.”
Referring to Government notification issued on April 22, where the Central customs was given a direction to ensure that the exported limestone and boulders should be weighed in a weigh bridge, Khonglah said, “We have abided by it waiting in anticipation on the fact finding team of the Government to address the issue.”
According to Khonglah, the Central customs has made it clear to the government that there are no additiol weighing bridges to facilitate the 800-odd trucks going to Bangladesh daily. “This was also made known to the fact finding team comprising of official from the department of forest and environment, the directorate of mineral resources and others,” she said. Subsequent to this the government issued an order on June 10 asking the Customs to revert back to the old measurement base on the volume metric tonne, stated the WJBSTE functiory while claiming that the exporters started paying the cess, royalty and other taxes to resume export. Notwithstanding the advance payment, the forest department barred the exporters from ferrying the materials on verbal instructions from the higher ups.
“We asked for the written order but the forester in-charge of the gate and other senior officials simply said that it is an instruction from the superiors,” she claimed.
Stating that the team of officers visited Tamabil on June 23 to address the issue, she alleged that another notification was given to them, saying that all challans stands invalid from June 26.