Janakraj Bista of Kailali reached the Transportation Management Office this afternoon to pay vehicle tax. The deadline for him to post the tax had expired on May 30.

Though he was supposed to pay 4,500 rupees in tax for the vehicle he owned, he was holding a receipt worth 4,725 rupees in his hand.

He had paid 225 rupees extra as fine for failing to pay the tax within the deadline.

Another local, Dev Bahadur Oli, also posted the vehicle tax yesterday. He owned a 125cc scooter, for which he paid 2,500 rupees as tax, but that was not enough: he was made to pay Rs 125 extra as fine for late payment.

But the fines were against the provincial government's decision, as the government had decided not to charge fine for any late payments.

"The government had decided to waive off fines for late payment of tax, but against the decision I was made to pay an additional of 125 rupees for failing to pay the tax amidst the pandemic, which was a sad thing to see," Oli said.

After taking the decision to waive off fines, given the extraordinary times caused by the COVID crisis, the ministry had written to Transportation Management Office and Transportation Service Office for implementation of the decision.

Regarding the issue of charging taxpayers fines, the Transportation Management Office blamed the Department of Transportation.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 15 2021, of The Himalayan Times.