Nepal | November 30, 2020

Government voices concern over World Bank report

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, November 17

The government has expressed concern over the ‘Doing Business’ report prepared by the World Bank, which was unveiled on October 31.

At a programme organised on the occasion of the seventh National Tax Day in the Capital, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada, said that the report had painted a harsh picture of the trade and investment environment in Nepal. “We have spoken about our concerns regarding the report with the World Bank and it has assured us that the report will be revised.”

Nepal stood in the 105th position in the ‘Doing Business’ ranking last year but this year the country has dropped to the 110th position, hinting at a weakening state of trade and investment climate in the country as it has failed to simplify tax payment process.

“We have reservations on the report as our rank has been downgraded citing a minor issue related to tax. We have urged the concerned stakeholder to revise the report,” Minister Khatiwada stated.

The finance minister further mentioned that the World Bank has said it will send a special team to revise the report, adding that the government will make efforts to better the score.

The World Bank report has incorporated 190 countries around the globe in the list.

Nepal made paying taxes more difficult through a 2017 Labour Act that introduced employer-paid labour gratuity, medical insurance and accident insurance in a way that places a larger administrative burden on companies that are already facing considerable bureaucracy, says the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report. This has made the process of complying with tax obligations more cumbersome, adds the report titled, ‘Training for Reform’.

The labour gratuity is a ‘particular burden’ as employers must file and pay it manually every month whereas the medical and accident insurance is paid annually, according to the report. Nepal-based companies had to make around 39 payments and spend 353 hours to comply with fiscal obligations in 2017. This compares unfavourably with the global average of 24 payments and 237 hours, the report reads.

Nepal ranks 158th out of 190 countries in paying taxes sub-index of the Ease of Doing Business Index. Nepal’s performance in this area was the worst among 10 indicators that World Bank evaluates to rank the countries.

According to the report, Nepal also ranks low in other sub-indices of the Ease of Doing Business Index, with ranking in enforcing contracts standing at 154, dealing with construction permits standing at 148, and getting electricity standing at 137.

Nepal’s performance contrasts with the rest of South Asia where a total of 19 business reforms were made in the past year. The number of reforms made by South Asian countries last year was the second highest ever, says the report. The performance of South Asian nations was the best in 2016 when it made 21 reforms.


A version of this article appears in print on November 18, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

National Covid-19 tally reaches 231,978 on Sunday with 1255 fresh infections

KATHMANDU: The countrywide Covid-19 tally reached 231,978 as 1255 additional infections emerged on Sunday. The capital hosts the highest amount of active cases which, on an average, reports half of the daily reported live infections. Likewise, 1404 people who were earlier infected with the vir Read More...

25 more fatalities registered today; Covid-19 death-toll advances to 1,479

KATHMANDU: Twenty-five more fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours with which Nepal’s Covid-19 death-tally has now advanced to 1,479. Meanwhile, 1,255 fresh coronavirus cases as reported today took the nationwide coronavirus case count to 231,978. Over 1.4 million deaths from the dis Read More...

Kathmandu Valley records 548 new cases on Sunday

KATHMANDU: The three districts of Kathmandu Valley reported a total of 548 new cases of coronavirus infection on Sunday. Of the new cases, 244 are females and 304 are males. As many as 422 cases were recorded in Kathmandu district while Lalitpur and Bhaktapur reported 61 and 65 cases respectiv Read More...

Smith hits second straight ton as Australia post 389-4 vs India

SYDNEY: Steve Smith led an imperious display from Australia's top-order batsmen with his second straight century as the hosts piled on a massive 389 for four against India's listless bowlers in the second one-day international in Sydney on Sunday. The match followed a script similar to Fr Read More...

Chinese Defence Minister calls on PM Oli

KATHMANDU: Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe has called on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at the latter's official residence in Baluwatar. The State Councilor and Defence Minister of China arrived here this morning on a one day official visit. Fenghe had asserted that his short visit to Ne Read More...

Bayern made to sweat for 3-1 win at Stuttgart

STUTTGART: Kingsley Coman scored one goal and set up another as Bayern Munich came from a goal down to beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday and stay top of the Bundesliga. It was the seventh consecutive game that Bayern, who face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next week, conceded a goa Read More...

Liverpool held, City on fire and Everton lose again

LONDON: Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton after conceding a VAR-inspired stoppage-time penalty while Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick in Manchester City's 5-0 crushing of Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday. Carlo Ancelotti's Everton suffered their fourth defeat in five games aft Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 62.06 million, death toll at 1,450,479

LONDON: More than 62.06 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,450,479​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December Read More...