Pokhara tax panel members evading taxes for years

Pokhara, September 24:

It has been revealed that members of the seven-party mechanism formed in Pokhara to implement rules for effective tax collection have themselves been evading taxes for many years.

Executive officer of the Pokhara sub-metropolis Uttam Prasad Nagila admitted that the members of the mechanism, themselves, had not cleared their outstanding taxes.

“It is sad to note that law enforcement officials have not been paying taxes regularly. They need to deposit it immediately,” he added.

According to the sub-metropolitan office, Krishna Prasad Parajuli, a member of the mechanism, has not paid his vehicle and business taxes.

However, Parajuli refuted the claims saying that his brother, who owns the business, had been paying necessary taxes regularly.

Other members of the mechanism — Gyan Bahadur Koirala, Krishna Thapa, Lekh Bahadur KC, Birendra Narayan Bijukchhe — have also not paid the taxes that they are supposed to pay, according to sources at sub-metropolis office.

Former mayor of the sub-metropolitan office Krishna Thapa has also not cleared the land and house tax for years, the sub-metropolitan office said. Conceding that he had not paid tax, Thapa said he would clear his taxes soon.

The sub-metropolis receives more than Rs 60 million annually as land, house and business taxes, according to tax department of the sub-sub-metropolis. The tax collection could exceed Rs 150 million annually, if everyone paid their taxes with honesty and on time, it said.

Pokhara sub-metropolitan office has 20,000 taxable business enterprises and 45,000 taxable houses. But only 30 per cent of the business enterprises and 50 per cent of the houses have been paying the taxes.

The sub-metropolitan office had set a target of collecting Rs 120 million tax last year, but collected less than Rs 70 million.