Sunday, December 27, 2009

Maoists hike protection levy

Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi

Inflation forces increase from 2-5% to 5-10% depending on project

While it is well known that rising inflation has hit Governments and industry, it has also impacted Maoists. Since costs of procuring arms and ammunition have skyrocketed due to inflation, the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has doubled its ‘protection money’ from two to five per of project costs to five to 10 per cent.

The Maoists operating in the mineral-rich belt of the affected States illegally levy an amount on contractors, traders and even Government servants to allow them function without hassles. These funds are used to finance the anti-national activities of the Naxals.

“The ultra-Left extortion business is estimated to be worth around Rs 2,000 crore and almost every business house or contractor pays protection money to the Naxals,” a senior Government official told The Pioneer.

The diversion of Government funds to the Naxals has been a major challenge to the Centre that has been pressing with the States for police action to be supplemented with development works in order to contain the menace. Following the assessment, the Union Home Ministry has advised the affected States to first carry out police action against the Naxals and then pursue the development agenda.

While the extortion rate charged for construction/ maintenance works of pakka roads has been doubled from five to ten per cent, the rate charged for kutcha road under the block development schemes has been marginally hiked from five to seven per cent, according to a rate chart of the Naxals seized recently by the Central security forces.

Charges for construction of bridges (both small and big) and dams (including check dams) has been increased from three per cent to five per cent.

However, the latest rate chart of the Maoists notes that need-based “flexibility” can be observed while extracting ‘levy’ from irrigation projects.

Likewise, the ultras have increased the rate charged for construction of Government buildings like community centres, anganwadi bhavans and link roads from five to seven per cent.

The increased rates for laying railway tracks and repair works stands at five per cent but the auction of railway scrap has been fixed at 10 per cent in terms of value.

The amount extracted from a manual stone crusher has almost been doubled from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 and for mechanised crushers the ultras will now charge Rs 16,000 annually as against the previous rate of Rs 8,000. Brick kiln owners will have to shell out Rs 15,000 per chimney per year instead of Rs 8,000 charged earlier but the document suggests the same has to be “flexible” depending upon the financial condition of an individual owner.

Rate for sand-mining will depend on the amount paid for obtaining the lease but a fixed amount of Rs 1,00,000 will be charged annually from those having lease for rock mountain. Petrol pump owners will now be charged Rs 25,000 annually.
Bauxite mine owned by big industrial houses will be required to shell out Rs 10 per tonne but medium-sized mining firms will pay Rs 8 per tonne and Rs 8 per tonne will be extorted from small-time companies.

The chart adds that rates for coal and iron ore mines would remain unchanged till the same is revised by the banned terror group.

Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist) will continue to remain the basic unit for collecting ‘levy’ and will be responsible for printing of cash receipts for the purpose besides sending the share to outfit’s politburo. The Central Committee of the terror group is responsible for fixing the share between its various committees.

1 comment:

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