Process for revenue aides’ hiring flayed

Kathmandu, March 24:

The Inland Revenue Department under the Finance Ministry has started interviewing around 17,000 applicants to appoint 640 Survey and Research Assistants in Inland Revenue Offices across the country. The assistants will help monitor the implementation of revenue-related programmes as announced in the budget for the current fiscal.

The Inland Revenue Office, Area No 3 Kathmandu, has published a timetable to interview 3,196 applicants for two weeks starting today. “We have formed three interview teams. The IRD will publish the final list of successful candidates for all three area offices in Kathmandu within three weeks,” Purushottam Lamichhane, tax officer, IRO Lazimpat, said.

The government last month announced the vacancies for the newly created posts, among which 360 will be appointed in Kathmandu, 85 in Lalitpur and 25 in Bhaktapur. Receiving a monthly allowance of Rs 8,000 for a three-month term, the successful candidates will collect information on house rent, survey the market and collect information about income tax, inland revenue and VAT, and inspect the billing system for collecting VAT.

Other duties for them are to create awareness among taxpayers and consumers about paying tax, collecting data and information on voluntary tax declaration, besides doing other tasks assigned by the IRD and the IROs.

Asked about the complains of candidates regarding unavailability of course and that a brief interview of less than five minutes might not gauge their abilities, Kul Prasad Chudal, Director, IRD, said written tests could not be conducted because of time constraints.

Many candidates, who faced the interview today, could not say how they had performed in the test, as they were asked only their names and address. “What fairness can one expect when the interviewers ask just the name and address of the candidate?” wondered Ram Chandra Budhathoki, an aspirant hailing from Dhading. Some others, however, said they were asked only one or two relevant questions. Another candidate, preferring anonymity, said the tests would have been more reliable had it been a written one. “It’s just to befool the unemployed youths,” said another aspirant Shambu Prasad Bhatta.

Lamichhane said the new appointees would be crucial in expanding the tax net. Defending the test procedure, he said, “Nowhere is the course for an interview given out.”

He said educational excellence, personality, information on tax, psychology and general knowledge were some parameters under which the candidates would be evaluated.