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Nagaland Ao Senden asks CM to amend Municipal Act

KOHIMA: The Ao Senden, the apex body of Ao Naga tribe, has asked the Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang for amendment of the Municipal Act, 2001 by deleting Section 120 (1) (a) ‘tax on land and building’ along with relevant sections to it; and amendment to reservation of seats for women in municipalities.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, the Ao Senden said that the section relating to taxation would, “snatch away ownership of land and building from Nagas by the Government, within areas covered by Municipals and Town councils.”
As a result, it cautioned that Nagas would become “landless or slaves in their own land.”
The concerned Section of the Act specifies that tax on land and building may be levied from residents of towns to raise revenue for Municipality performances of its functions; said tax be specified by the government from time to time; that the government direct the Municipality to levy any tax and if the Municipality fails to carry out government order, the government shall operate on behalf of Municipality to levy the tax; rate of the tax be determined by the Government; tax on land and building shall not exceed 15 per cent of the annual value; and for vacant land annual value shall be fixed at 5 per cent of the estimated market value of land.
Related sections also involve recovery of taxes on land and building by attachment of land and building of the occupier for failure to pay tax; defaulting tax on land and building will be published twice within one month (30 days) and the land and building be sold by public auction to the highest bidder.
Regarding reservation of seats for women to various constitutional bodies, especially in the instant municipality forum; the Ao Senden suggested that voting right “may be granted to women nominee without contesting the election to the municipality in order to let the social, custom and usages of the Nagas intact by amending the existing provision of law.”
“As for Ao Nagas, there is no status distinction between man and woman in our society,” it claimed.
The Ao Senden stated that “deletion of section 120 (1) (a) and women nomination seat in Municipality Act is the voice of the people and therefore, the competent authority be pleased to make the laws in the interest of the people’s voice.”
If not, it cautioned that the issue would “certainly invite the constitutional remedies in proper forum being the existing law for imposition of tax on land and building is a clear contradictory with the constitution.”
The Ao Senden asked that the said Act be amended at the earliest so as to conduct the municipal election. It stated that unless the “aspiration of the people” is fulfilled with regard to the aforementioned Act, the Ao Senden “will not compromise on the matter. (UNI)

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