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Finance Minister honours Nepal Telecom, Siddhartha Rana

Finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala today honoured various individuals and institutions including the largest taxpayers Nepal Telecom and Siddhartha Rana – in different tax categories like income tax, VAT and excise duty – for their contribution to the government coffer for the fiscal year 2011-12, on the occasion of second National Tax Day, organised by the Inland Revenue Department.
The partially divested and Nepse-listed telecom service provider Nepal Telecom has contributed around Rs 9 billion to the government coffer in the fiscal year 2011-12. Likewise, executive chairman of Sipradi Trading Rana has been honoured as the highest individual income tax payer.
Speaking on the occasion, finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala said that the government is working hard on widening the tax net by policy, procedural and legal reform in the revenue administration. “There is a need for change in bureaucratic mindset as the general people and entrepreneurs have negative image of tax,” he said, asking the revenue officials to change according to time. “Budget for the current fiscal year has envisages people-friendly tax policy, apart from online tax payment system to make revenue administration more efficient, and also for sustainable source of tax.”
Our revenue is based on imports, said central bank governor Dr Yub Raj Khatiwada. “Increase in non-tax revenue’s share in the total revenue will be sustainable,” he said, adding that the more the contribution of non-tax revenue in total revenue, the better the economy will be.
However, finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said that only one million population is under tax net, which has to be increased to atleast five per cent as in the country of 26.5 million population hardly 3.88 per cent are within the tax bracket.
Though it has been almost six decades that the government has started mobilising tax, very less per cent of people – including professionals – are registered in the tax, let alone pay tax.
According to the Finance Ministry, the government has been able to mobilise Rs 2.67 billion income tax – which is lesser than the same period of last fiscal year, when the government had been able to mobilise Rs 2.83 billion – in the first two months of the current fiscal year.
Likewise, he also stressed on bringing the huge amount of money that is being spent in the CA election campaign.