Dhangadi, December 19
Farmers, vegetable and fruit entrepreneurs in Kailali and Kanchanpur have announced agitation against double taxation on agriculture products.
In a joint press meet today, farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs from the districts announced their protest programmes. They said they will picket Kailali and Kanchanpur DDCs on December 24, and halt import and export of vegetables and fruits on December 26.
They have announced a hunger strike from January 4 if their demands are not met. As per the existing law, a DDC can collect taxes not exceeding one per cent from agricultural products. However, the DDCs have set up dhats at different places to collect tax up to 15 per cent, farmers complained.
The Supreme Court had issued a verdict barring the collection of tax from agricultural products five years ago. Fruit trader Tejram Paneru said Kanchanpur and Kailali DDCs were using threats to collect tax from the dhats.
Farmer Nandaraj Bhatta said that Kailali DDC was collecting tax from Chisapani, Teghari, and Trinagar points. “Kailali DDC collects tax from products imported from other parts of the country to be supplied to the hilly region of the district at Chisapani, and the DDC again levies tax on the same goods at Teghari,” Bhatta said.
Kanchanpur farmer Mantriram Rana complained that farmers and consumers were bearing the brunt of tax collection on the same products at different places. “We are forced to give money to traffic police and police personnel too,” Rana lamented.
Kailali LDO Keshav Prasad Bimali, however, said that the DDC was collecting taxes as per the Local Self Governance Act.
A version of this article appears in print on December 20, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.