Five per cent of the population has to come under tax net for healthy economy

Five per cent of the population has to come under tax net for healthy economy

At least five per cent of the population has to come under the tax net for a healthy economy, according to finance minister. Addressing an interaction held here yesterday, finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala asked the private sector to take advantage of the government's policy of bringing people under tax net and utilise the time frame that it provided to settle tax mismatch. "The government had extended the time frame for the settlement of tax mismatch on the private sector's request," he said, asking them to take advantage and settle their dues. "Otherwise, the government will be forced to take action, after January 16." On the request of the private sector, the government has extended deadline to settle mismatch till January 16. One can pay Rs 4,000 fine and settle the tax mismatch dues by then. After, the deadline, they have to pay at least Rs 100,000 as the revenue administration is going to be strict on it, according to the Finance Ministry. The government is also planning to tighten noose on professionals like lawyers, doctors, media houses and engineers and bring them under the tax net. There are some 10,000 lawyers, mushrooming media houses that have been not complying the tax law. Likewise, the traders who are under-evaluating while importing goods will also be under the scanner. He also confessed of being unable to improve the industrial sector as the election government had no right to bring any ordinance of long-term impact. "The Industrial Act is in the Cabinet due to the incumbent government's limited responsibility," Koirala said, adding that his ministry tried to simplify the revenue administration and prioritised the capacity building of the taxpayers. "Taxpayers are the ones, who provide resources for the government and the government has also tried to polish the policy, legal framework and bureaucratic hurdles." The government has taken the blame for the private sector but the result has not been encouraging," he complained. "The government is ready to help the industrialists but the domestic production has to be increased for import substitution to bridge the widening trade deficit gap." If the private sector is ready to take ownership of the special economic zones (SEZs) that the government is planning in Bhairahawa, Panchkhal, Biratnagar and Simara, he said the government is ready share responsibility. Though, the government is fulfilling its commitment, the private sector has not been able to walk the talk, complained finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi, on the occasion. "The tax break plan is brought on request of the entrepreneurs and traders, but only 500 took the advantage, instead of 30,000," he said, adding that only 700 have come under the tax net out of the total 46,000 in the tax mismatch case. "The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked the central bank to direct banks to follow the tax administration, while lending, which will make it difficult for those, who are submitting different papers to the bank – while borrowing – and the tax administration – to pay tax, he informed," Subedi said, asking the private sector to follow the law as the noose is tightening for the frauds. Those, who do not take advantage of the government's legal pardoning, they will be taken action according to the law, said Department of Money Laundering director general Chudamani Sharma. Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) vice president Pradeep Jung Pandey, on the occasion, asked for the conducive environment for the business instead of benefits from the government. Likewsie, the FNCCI president Suraj Vaidya, on the occasion, hailed the incumbent government for working with the private sector. The private sector representatives across the country, asked the government to simplify the bureaucratic hurdles, legal provision, and bring an integrated policy as the different ministries have been creating different hurdles for them. They also asked the government to become sensitive towards the private sector and not only concentrate on revenue mobilisation.
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