NAFEA ex-chair booked for evading taxes worth crores

Kathmandu, January 4

The Department of Revenue Investigation today filed a tax evasion case against operator of Sky Overseas, Bal Bahadur Tamang, at the Kathmandu District Court.

Dirgha Raj Mainali, director general of the department, told THT that a case had been filed against Tamang as DoRI’s investigation had found that Tamang had evaded income tax worth more than Rs 195 million.

The department has sought Rs 60.5 million in principal amount from Tamang, in addition to more than Rs 130 million in fine and three years of imprisonment.

“Tamang had been evading tax for many years on the commission he used to get while sending workers to Gulf nations,” said Mainali, adding that he had not been paying income tax on the money that he used to receive from companies in destination countries.

Moreover, Mainali suspects that a number of other manpower companies could be evading such taxes. “We are looking into taxes paid by other manpower firms and if we suspect any firm to be involved in evading taxes then we will raid such firms,” he added.

However, defending himself, Tamang, who is also a former chairman of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, claimed that he was booked for violating the law. “The government has the policy to send workers for free, however, the department has filed a case against me stating that I did not have any receipts of workers who were sent abroad via free-visa-free-ticket provision,” Tamang said.

The department, meanwhile, has stated that it filed a case against Tamang only after analysing his recorded statement, bank balance and other related documents. DoRI added that it had also investigated the amount which Sky Overseas received from companies in destination countries since fiscal 2008-09.

Mainali added that the case against Tamang was filed as per the Revenue Leakage (Investigation and Control) Act-1995.

Sky Overseas has been sending Nepali migrant workers to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia and Bahrain-based companies and also to Dubai’s Carrefour, a French multinational retailer chain, and McDonald’s, an American fast food chain. As per the department’s findings, Tamang has sent 144,747 workers to Gulf and Malaysian companies in the last 20 years. He used to collect a minimum of Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 from each worker and also $400 for each worker from labour receiving companies.