Ruling, opposition parties exchange words over taxes

Kathmandu, August 21

Lawmakers representing the main opposition Nepali Congress and those from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today indulged in war of words over the ‘haphazard’ levying of taxes at the local levels.

In a meeting of the House of Representative, NC lawmakers said the taxes imposed by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s government and local governments led by his party had terrorised people. But NCP lawmakers countered by terming it a ‘conspiracy’ to damage the government’s reputation.

NC lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa expressed suspicion over Oli’s commitment to federalism. “Communist leader from Jhapa, Khadga Prasad Oli may enjoy the amenity to express doubts over the success of the federal structure. But does the prime minister have the same liberty? I think not,” he said during special hour.

The prime minister must understand that should Federalism fail, it will be his failure, added the MP. He further stated the PM should prioritise and let his actions speak rather than his words. He added, “The prime minister must stop roaming from province to province delivering sermons and also get done with his jokes and tears during interviews; and rather focus on finishing the job that you actually ought to do.

He also said the government should form the Distribution of Natural Resources and Monetary Commission soon as the constitution has stated. Another NC Lawmaker Bahadur Singh Lama said the government wants to imposed more tax on people which is against the spirit of federalism.

Responding to Thapa, NCP Lawmakers Khaga Raj Adhikari and Mahesh Basnet defended PM Oli and the government’s activities. Those who were haphazardly announcing the taxes in the local levels are led by the Congress Party. “So, they are doing the wrong thing and blaming the government for that,” he said.

Adhikari said talking about the taxes, some people want to defame prime minister. “They are saying there is a tax on poultry and other things. But there are three tiers of government in the country. The opposition can’t blame only the ruling party,” he said.