KATHMANDU: Nepal Trans Himalaya Border Commerce Association (NTHBCA) and Sindhupalchowk Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) have accused the political parties of collecting various taxes on the import and export of goods from/to China via Tatopani point and thence on the way to Kathmandu.

Countering the accusation, CA member from Sindhupalchowk Keshav Nepal said that these associations are to blame for such activities as they themselves are permitting the establishment of parallel associations and collecting money from entrepreneurs at the Tatopani border in turn. He also alleged that these organizations are not doing anything for the development of Sindhupalchowk district and that they do not include small entrepreneurs in their associations.

NTHBCA president Durga Bahadur Shrestha reacted saying that his association has been inclusive in this matter and that it is the political party members who should be more responsible. He also said that till date some 5000 members are in the association which has been providing employment opportunities to many people. He added that due to the chungi (border point) tax, the total import has decreased from 75 per cent to 25 per cent at present state. “Apart from it, the syndicate system has not been removed from Tatopani customs point. That has added to the difficulties of the enterpreneurs,” said Shrestha. He said that the association is preparing various plans to develop Sindhupalchowk as a ‘special economic zone’ and that it has been doing business through TT Draft and Credit for small entrepreneurs.

CA member Nepal said that the association should introduce a system of public auditing and bring transparency to its dealings. He pointed out that it was a matter of great concern as it involves the public more than it does the business entrepreneurs. He, however, admitted that many organizations, including police and many members of political parties are embroiled in this.