Government defends taxes

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 29, 2018-

Despite complaints about heavy rises in taxes being imposed by the local units across the country, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration said that there has not been ‘unjustified’ rise in taxes in most of the cases.

During the interaction with the representatives of the 24 municipalities from Kathmandu Valley and Kavrepalanchowk on August 23 in Kathmandu, it has been found that most of the local units of the Province 3 have not hiked the taxes in ‘unjustified’ way, officials of the ministry said.  

A committee formed by the cabinet on August 14 under the coordination of Dinesh Thapaliya, secretary at the Ministry, had held interaction with chief administrative officers and chiefs of the revenue departments of municipalities last week at the Ministry.

According to Bishnu Dutta Gautam, under secretary at the Ministry, they found no big problems in most of the local units excluding a few of them. “It has been found that most of them were found to have charged taxes as per the rights given by the constitution,” said Gautam, who also represents a task force formed under the committee.

According to Gautam, taxes to be paid by people appeared to be high because the local bodies in the past had not imposed the taxes that they were supposed to impose and the tax rates remained unchanged since 1999 despite massive rise in the valuation everything. “Some were however found to have imposed ‘unified property taxes’ unjustifiably and some were found to have charged the taxes that were not allowed by the constitution considering that these taxes were imposed under previous local body structure,” said Gautam.  

Amid complaints from people and pressure from the centre, some municipalities have already started removing taxes not allowed by constitution and started to revise the tax rates.

For example, Birgunj Metropolitan City withdrew pollution tax of 25 paisa imposed on per litre of petroleum product in the metro area and it also withdrew entry fee imposed on vehicles ranging from Rs500 to Rs1500 per vehicle in its area, after the central government intervened.

Panchkhal Municipality said it made downward revision in property tax rates after the complaints. “We brought down the number of tax slabs to five from 34 proposed previously. While doing so, we have reduced tax burden for many people,” said Bhola Prasad Chapagain, chief administrative officer at Panchkhal municipality.

Federal Affairs Ministry officials say that they don’t see the chance that the committee headed by Secretary Thapaliya would recommend massive changes in tax rates.

The committee  is set to hold interaction with chief administrative officers and  chief of revenue departments at the municipalities from Kaski, Syangja, Tanahun and Parbat in Pokhara on Wednesday. “The committee also has plans to hold another round of such meeting in Hetauda if possible,” said Gautam.

Published: 29-08-2018 07:29

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