Brick kilns in Jhapa face difficulties

Jhapa, December 31:

Brick kilns in Jhapa have suffered due to different taxes imposed on them.

Owner of Indira Brick Kiln, Durga Parajuli situated at Charpane Village Development Committee said, “We have payed taxes that are sometimes greater than our initial investment. We have to pay a lumpsum Rs 1,50,000 annually to the government regardless of whatever the production is or the state in which business is running.”

Apart from this, a separate tax must be paid to the local body while purchasing fuel and collecting clay and sand from rivers. Providing donations, awards, financial help etc also becomes compulsory after establishing a factory, Parajuli complained.

The kilns also have to spend extra money to bring skilled labour from India, as skilled labour cannot be found in local markets. Parajuli informed that the travelling expenses, food and accommodation expenses for Indian labours must be incurred by the kilns themselves.

He added that because of these added expenses, bricks are fetch a lower price than the investment. He said that investment cost per brick is around three rupees.

Chairman of Brick Kiln Association, Ghana Shyam Timsina accused the government of being apathetic towards the problems of brick industries, while adding taxes under different pretences. He added that if the situation persists, it would be very difficult for the brick kilns to survive.

Timsina further said that frequent bandhs, donations and low returns have hit brick kilns in Jhapa hard.

Timsina said, “The government must prepare liberal tax policies, provide loans at low interest and bring programmes to produce skilled manpower.”

There are altogether 13 brick kilns in Jhapa including Indira Brick kiln, Deepak Brick Kiln, Shree Ram, Pashupati, Barun, Jhapali, Pathivara, KBC, Poonam, Triveni Brick kilns. Out of these, KBC and Poonam brick kilns have already been closed down.