Maoist tax drive deprives DDF staff of their salaries

Siraha, September 8:

Forty employees in the District Development Fund (DDF) of Siraha District Development Committee, who were getting salaries from the revenue collected from internal resources of the DDC, have been deprived of their salary after the Maoists started collecting tax from the internal resources of the district.

DDC Plan Officer Mitra Mani Pokharel said the internal management of DDC had become difficult after the Maoists seized control of the income sources.

He added that the salaries of the DDF employees for month of Shrawan was given from the revenue that was carried over from last year. DDC had been using the revenue collected from internal resources to give salaries to its employees, pay telephone and electricity bills and invest the remaining sum in development work.

DDC was earning around Rs 10 million annually from tax in internal resources. Last year, Rs 1.236 million was spent on the salary of the forty employees of the DDF.

“We want a speedy solution to this problem,” Pokharel said, adding, “DDC cannot be run this way.” The DDF employees are anxious about the chances of their getting salary and allowance in Dashain. The government does not pay the salary of DDF employees and they have to depend on internal revenue.

Chairman of the DDC Employees’ Association, Arun Kumar Shah urged the Maoists to consider the problem of the DDF employees. He added that the DDC could manage the salary for DDF employees for only a few months and this would affect the employees who have been working for more than 20 years.

Earlier this year, the Maoists thrice obstructed tenders invited by the DDC and floated their own tender.

Maoist Siraha district secretary Avinash said the tender was called as per the party’s central policy, adding that the Maoists would continue with their tender until the present crisis was solved completely. About the DDF staff, he said the government should provide them relief.

District level leaders of leading political parties have also held meetings with the Maoist district leadership and urged it to return the internal income source of DDC. The meetings, however, remained inconclusive.