Mizoram: Social activist files PIL against areca nut smuggling
Vanramchhuangi, who is popularly known as 'Ruatfela Nu'

Aizawl: A well-known social activist from Mizoram, Vanramchhuangi, has moved the Gauhati High Court seeking a probe into the rampant smuggling of areca nuts to Myanmar through Mizoram.

Vanramchhuangi, who is popularly known as ‘Ruatfela Nu,’ filed the PIL at the Aizawl Bench on April 29.

The PIL case includes a request for CBI investigation into the cross-border smuggling racket of areca nuts evading taxes and to eradicate the problems faced by areca nut growers due to the rampant illegal smuggling.

She told EastMojo that the High Court has admitted the PIL and would soon be listed for hearing. She said that she had filed the PIL against 37 respondents. 

Vanramchhuangi also said that there has been rampant smuggling of areca nuts from Myanmar and most smugglers evade taxes, which is a huge economic loss for the state government as well the Central government. 

Last year, Vanramchhuangi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the Centre’s intervention to stop smuggling of dried areca nuts from Southeast Asian countries through Champhai and Lawngtlai districts in Mizoram, which shares a border with Myanmar.

The social activist further alleged that the Mizoram government gives ‘Place of Origin’ credentials to dried areca nuts smuggled through the India-Myanmar border from various Southeast Asian countries.

The contraband is then categorised under GST heading 0802 and attracts a 5
per cent tax, she had claimed.

She also alleged that numerous smuggling routes have been constructed by smugglers and there are around 40 such roads in Champhai district alone through which smugglers used to transport their goods.

According to the Central Customs department, as many as 9.7 lakh kilograms of smuggled areca nuts worth around Rs 132.70 crore were seized during the last fiscal 2021-2022 in Mizoram.

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