Illegal tax collection hits businessmen in Ilam

Limbuwan cadres collecting up to Rs 2,000 from each truck

Ilam, July 21:

Ilam-based businessmen and traders have complained that they are being forced to pay illegal tax to Limbuwan cadres at three different places while exporting agricultural and forest products.

They said that Sanghiya Limbuwan Rajyaparisad (SLR), Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch, Pallo Kirant Limbuwan Mukti Morcha and Ilam District Development Committee (DDC) have been collecting taxes from them on Phikkal-Sunmai section of Mechi Highway.

“We have to pay Rs 1,900 to the DDC and up to Rs 2,000 each to three other groups while exporting one truck of ginger,” Gyanendra Poudel, a businessman of Biblyante, said.

SLR central chairman Sanjuhang Palungwa said that the tax was being collected

for smooth functioning of his party.

“The collection of tax is a part of our agitation. We are not going to stop it, rather we are thinking of giving legitimacy to it by forming an autonomous Limbuwan federal state,” he said.

Businessmen complained that Laxmi Kharel, who owns the contract to collect supply tax for the DDC, had been collecting tax by adding VAT (Value Added Tax).

Businessmen recently met CDO Ram Prasad Ghimire and urged him to resolve the problem. Ghimire assured the businessmen that he was taking initiative to address the problem and and would initiate action against the DDC contractor.

Police had arrested a dozen SLR cadres a month ago. However, they were released after the SLR expressed committment not to collect the tax.

Meanwhile, SLR cadres are also collecting tax from vehicles at Kanchhi Dokan in Phidim-9 of the Mechi Highway.

Businessmen said that the SLR cadres were collecting atleast Rs 10 from each vehicle at Kanchhi Dokan.