Allow domestic firms to supply excise duty stickers to govt: PAC

Kathmandu, December 7

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Federal Parliament today directed the government to pave the way for private domestic firms to supply excise duty stickers to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

The IRD uses billions of rupees of excise duty stickers on packages of cigarettes, liquor and alcoholic beverages every year. But domestic firms so far have not been able to supply these stickers, as the government claims “security features of domestic printing companies are not up to its standard”. This has triggered huge outflow of funds.

The parliamentary committee today instructed the government to revise necessary laws to enable domestic private firms to supply excise duty stickers.

At present, the IRD allows international firms certified by European standard setter, Intergraf, to take part in bidding of excise duty stickers. None of the Nepali printing company has received Intergraf certification, barring them from taking part in the biddings.

“Nepali security printing companies are able to print recharge cards and other sensitive documents. If they can produce these products, they should be able to print excise duty stickers as well. But the government appears to have discriminated domestic companies,” lawmaker Aman Lal Modhi said.

“This discriminatory behaviour has triggered a capital flight,” Modhi added.

Revenue Secretary Sishir Dhungana, however, argued that domestic firms cannot integrate security features as per the requirements of the government, even though they are involved in security printing.

“To control outflow of funds in security printing, the government is planning to establish its own security printing press at a cost of Rs 22 billion in Hetauda,” Dhungana said, adding, “A budget of Rs six billion has been allocated in the current fiscal year and process of setting up the press is underway.”

The government generates revenue of around Rs 57 billion from excise duty, value added tax and health hazard tax imposed on cigarettes, liquor and alcoholic beverage per year.

‘Collect due CGT from Ncell deal’

KATHMANDU: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Federal Parliament today directed the government to collect due capital gains tax from Ncell buyout deal. The government has imposed capital gains tax of Rs 60.7 billion on the buyout deal of Ncell, a leading private sector telecom company. But the government has been able to collect only around Rs 24 billion from that deal, lawmakers said. “The company should be made to pay the due amount,” they added. Ncell is preparing to repatriate Rs 40 billion in dividend soon, according to PAC Chairman Bharat Kumar Sah. “The company should not be allowed to repatriate the dividend until it settles its tax liabilities,” lawmakers said. — HNS