Lakes state, News

Parliament summons Local gov’t Minister

By Yang Ater Yang

Lakes State lawmakers have summoned the Local Government Minister to address issues of insecurity, ambushes along the highway, and exorbitant tax increments.

Recently, the state government reintroduced rural household tax collection, which requires community members to pay 5,000 SSP each.

Teenagers and adults in Lakes State are the main targets of this tax.

Zechariah Puoric Matuong, chairperson of the information committee said that the assembly wants the minister, Chol Kuotwel to clarify on tax increment and insecurity.

He mentioned that the taxation act was enacted in 2011, with a different figure, but the minister has now ordered the civil population to collect 5,000 SSP.

The lawmaker said the assembly has not acknowledged this amount, and the bill was supposed to be tabled before the house by the minister after passing by the Council of Ministers.

“The House has requested the Minister to clarify the reasons behind the increase and whether it was passed by the Council of Ministers. The Minister has not yet received official documents from the House, and the House needs the Minister to explain the constraints and reasons behind the tax increments. The Minister is needed to provide background information on the reasons behind the tax increase and to address any uncertainties.”

Puoric expressed concerns about the insecurity along highways, including injuries to soldiers and an incident at the SSRRC compound resulting in the loss of the chairperson of the RRC commission and his deputy.  He requested the minister to provide details on the situation.

He also cited an ambush that injured two soldiers and the lawmakers now want to question the local government minister’s response.

Meanwhile, customary law and public order prohibiting the civil population from carrying arms have been passed, but the lawmakers said the orders seemed not implemented.

They want the minister to further explain why the law has not been implemented.

Mr. Chol is expected to appear this week.

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