Finance Minister Khatiwada warns of strong action against revenue fraudsters

Kathmandu, Aug 30: The government has warned of action against anyone evading the revenue.

Addressing a programme entitled "Existing Opportunities and Challenges of Nepal's Economy", organized by Nepal Chamber of Commerce here today, Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada reiterated that the government would take action against those people evading revenue in any pretext.

He urged the industrialists and business persons to carry out their trade with honesty, saying the government had no intention of harassing them.

"Punishment and fine would be handed down only in case of tax evasion with malevolent intent. Those who commit revenue fraud directly and intentionally should face punishment if it is proved so because the rule of law prevails in the nation. Those traders practicing fair trade would get justice if all obeyed the laws," the Finance Minister stressed.

He claimed that the Revenue Leakage Act has been made more systematic and advanced compared to its previous version and systematic efforts have been put in place for curbing the revenue leakage.

The Finance Minister informed that the government has been preparing the draft of the Customs Act and it was ready to acknowledge the suggestions from the private sector. Alluding to the demands of the industrialists and businessmen for withdrawing the VAT, he said, "Now do not talk of withdrawing the VAT. If you call for withdrawal of Vat, it might bring additional problems."

 

Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada (third from right) addresses a programme entitled "Existing Opportunities and Challenges of Nepal's Economy", organized by Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Kathmandu, Aug 30, 2019. 

Stating that some practical problems have been seen in the VCTS system, Finance Minister Khatiwada reminded that the government has held consultations with the private sector time and again to ease the problem related to VCTS. The government calls for the voluntary participation of transport entrepreneurs in VCTS which would be made compulsory in near future, he added.

PAN mandatory for running business

On the occasion, the Finance Minister stressed that the government has made Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory for running any kind of business. He said PAN is equivalent to the citizenship certificate for operating business.

"PAN is like your citizenship card. PAN has been made mandatory to transform the informal work into the formal system," he said.

The number of traders taking PAN has increased and about 300,000 people have taken PAN in a single month Saun (July 17 – August 17).

Minister Khatiwada stressed that the government has announced to put an end to the situation of compulsion of Nepali youth going for foreign employment within the coming five years. He added that for the time being preparations have been made to make them skilled before going on foreign employment. The Finance Minister further added that the government has brought various programmes for encouraging the foreign employment returnee youth to start their self-employment business and enterprises.

Chamber president Rajesh Kaji Shrestha said that problems were seen in achieving economic growth as the economy could not be as dynamic as the country's politics. "Although the country's politics has come out of the transition, the economy has not become as dynamic as the politics," he opined.

Shrestha said though there were no obstacles in policy level for the government and the private sector partnership, there were problems in practice.

He demanded an increment in the rate of cash incentives to the exporters to reduce trade deficit given the exorbitant transit cost.

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