Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel has expressed commitment to implement necessary reforms in the tax system and introduce taxpayer-friendly tax administration in a bid to expand the tax net.
Speaking at a programme organised to mark the fourth National Tax Day by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Minister Paudel opined that taxpayer-friendly tax administration will encourage people and firms to submit their taxes. “We will promote taxpayer-friendly environment in our tax system,” said the finance minister.
Minister Paudel also said that the country needs more resources in the coming days to execute state restructuring as envisaged by the new constitution. He also informed that the Ministry of Finance will soon issue a whitepaper regarding the recent economic situation of the country as economic activities at the moment have remained at a standstill due to the unofficial blockade by India — the largest trading partner of the country.
After the unofficial blockade of the southern neighbour, the country has been facing severe crisis of fuel, industrial raw materials and other essential supplies. The country uses Kolkata Port of India, which is the only gateway of the country for third-country trade and has also been affected due to the blockade.
Minister Paudel also said that the government will formulate plans and policies to gradually move towards economic self-reliance. He also stressed on effective redistribution of resources for equal development across the country.
Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi emphasised on result-based reforms in the tax system. Effective implementation of carrot and stick approach will automatically bring changes in the tax administration, as per Subedi.
Likewise, Finance Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma said generation of more revenue has been gradually reducing the country’s dependency on foreign aid for budget financing. “Eighty per cent of the resources in our budget financing is generated through our internal sources and the rest from foreign aid,” said Sharma.
In the programme, Chudamani Sharma, director general of IRD informed that 181,328 new taxpayers were included in the tax net in the last fiscal and the number of taxpayers has reached 1.29 million in the country. In fiscal 2014-15, IRD had recovered Rs 11.69 billion from tax dues and adjustments. The government had formed the Tax Settlement Commission last fiscal and it has reviewed 5,862 cases and a total of Rs 8.61 billion needs to be recovered, as per Sharma.
A version of this article appears in print on November 18, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.