FiM assures of reviewing taxes

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Surendra Pandey assured entrepreneurs of reviewing tax provision in sugar, flour, oil and ghee industries while addressing a delegation of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) here today.

“We will review the taxes if these hamper the growth of Nepali industries,” he said. CNI members had urged the government to support Nepali industries in export promotion and reduction of price hike. Oil, ghee, flour and sugar industries owners had demanded reduced taxes in customs, excise and value added tax (VAT) as per the rates applicable in India.

“If the taxes are reduced we can provide oil, sugar and flour at cheap rates,” said CNI member Kumud Dugar. The budget 2009-10 has reduced customs duty on such goods but has increased excise duty.

Edible oil in Nepal costs

Rs 16 more per litre than in India because of customs whereas export of vegetable ghee is affected by excise duty, he said.

Entrepreneurs asked the minister to provide security. Abduction of entrepreneurs, bandhs and strikes must be stopped as soon as possible, they said. “We are planning to bring the commitment of major political parties against bandhs and strikes soon,” said minister Pandey. According to him, 22 political parties have signed the government-initiated anti-strike pact and it is now on the table of the Maoists.

He urged entrepreneurs not to distrust the government. The budget has given clear space to the private sector, cooperatives and the government to make ‘New Nepal’, he said. “We are planning to expand the cooperative movement to remote areas where there are no banks and industries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary (Revenue) Krishna Hari Baskota revealed that a new revenue board would be established soon to settle revenue-related problems. “The revenue board will established within a week,” he said.

He urged entrepreneurs to come with specific agenda for discussion on complication in taxes.

Unions in Pandey’s bad books

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Surendra Pandey urged trade unions to be responsible and focus on the growth of their respective companies. Addressing the 20th anniversary of Rastriya Banijya Bank Employee Association Nepal (RBBEAN), he said, “Public enterprises are falling sick because of employees. I have found unions are more interested in their own progress rather than the company’s. RBB is suffering from the same illness.” RBB has negative net worth of Rs 13 billion and bad loan equivalent to Rs 15 billion. However, RBB chief executive officer Janardan Acharya hoped to rescue the bank from the scenario. Speaking on the occasion, Acharya said, “I have plans to change the negative net worth to positive within two years but I need the support of all employees.” Acharya has working to revive the crisis-ridden bank and it gained operating profit of Rs 2.21 billion in fiscal year 2008-09. — HNS