This refers to Chiranjibi Nepal’s article “Tax policy” (THT, July 2). The author has made a powerful case for the abolition of outdated tax policies which have adversely affected private sector investment. The country needs large-scale private investment as the government lacks adequate resources to lift the country out of the vicious cycle of poverty. But the government, while it has acknowledged this fact, has refused to do anything about it.
The need of the hour is to remove the old tax policies and substitute them with more timely and realistic ones so that the twin goals of taxation (ie, greater revenue collection and social justice) can be achieved. Lastly, the article also helps one get a firm grip on the theoretical and practical knowledge of the current tax policy.
Rupesh R Khanal, lecturer of Economics, NIST, Patan
It is reassuring to learn that the National Strategy on Disaster Risk Management (NSDRM) is coming into force in the near future, “Strategy to deal with disasters soon” (THT, July 3). As per the news report, the UNDP has placed Nepal in 11th position in the list of nations most vulnerable to quakes. The World Bank in 2005 classified the country as one of the global “hot spots” for natural disasters.
An earthquake of the 8 or more Richter Scale magnitude may hit Kathmandu as it is said to be overdue but the capital is ill prepared for any big natural disaster. Every year, the country loses hundreds of people to landslides and floods. But no effective strategy has been devised as yet to check them or mitigate their impact.
It is hard to imagine how Kathmandu will cope with a ‘big disaster’ that is expected to destroy half the houses in the Valley. Will our critical infrastructure like hospitals, fire brigades and emergency services hold up? How will we deal with disruptions in supply of electricity and drinking water? These questions have no easy answers. There is no alternative to preparing for possible disasters.
Sumnima Gurung, via e-mail
The NOC has reportedly said that it does not even have a single drop of petrol in its
reserves. Some of the measures that could be taken urgently to address the crisis are: Introducing a zero-tax policy on petrol-import, opening imports to private parties, and encouraging ethanol production inside the country.
Similarly, biogas production from human excreta and solar power should receive greater
emphasis. The import of non-polluting bicycles and rickshaws should be encouraged and they should be used as alternative means of transport for short-distance travel. The NOC should serve as a reserve-point for petrol at times of scarcity.
Ravi Manandhar, via email
New armed groups sprouting in the Tarai pose a major security concern. Just the other day, a CPN-Maoist area secretary was shot dead by the cadres of Jwala Singh-led JTMM. Normal people are being victimised in the process. Yet the local administrators, instead of taking action against the culprits, seem to be indulging in cover-up. Alas! their ‘best’ efforts are not good enough.
Abijit Sharma, Dhapasi