Asan shut to protest against mandatory PAN provision

Published On: August 10, 2019 07:20 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, Aug 10: Retailer shops in Asan, a market square in central Kathmandu, remained shut on Friday as protest against the government’s decision to make Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory for financial transactions.

The government has made PAN bill mandatory in the financial transaction above Rs 1,000, effective from Fiscal Year 2019/20. If a PAN bill is not presented, the payment will not be considered expense. The company or the organization should include it as profit.

However, Nepal Retailers Association (NRA) has stated that it has nothing to do with the protest. “A team of semi-wholesalers had visited us on Thursday to talk about their concerns,” said Raj Kumar Shrestha, chairman of the association. “With the implementation of VCTS, wholesalers and importers have refused to provide retailers without PAN and VAT, with products.”

Retailers complain that the government has implemented the provision without any homework. “It should have been implemented in a phase-wise manner: first to the importers, dealers and then retailers,” Shrestha further added.

“The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) too has shown concern on this issue. The retailers have shut down their shops for a day as government and the private sector have not come to a conclusion,” said Yagya Ratna Tuladhar, a local of Asan and also 
the former chairman of Ason Sewa Samiti.

An Asan-based retailer said that the retailers had decided to shut down their shops to protest in a symbolic way against the mandatory PAN and VAT provisions.

Pavitra Bajracharya, immediate past chairman of the association, said that retailers were yet to be informed about the procedure to acquire PAN. “The inland revenue offices and tax offices are crowded because of which it is hard for the retailers to acquire them at once,” he added.

However, the governmental official maintained that they have not been formally informed about the protest. The government has initiated to make PAN distribution easier. “The wholesalers should issue bills and invoices as they sell products to retailers, not the other way round, so there 
should not be any problem with it,” said Yagya Prasad Dhungel, spokesperson at the Inland Revenue Department, adding: “There has been no change in the VAT provision. They had to register to VAT in the past and it is the same now.”

If a company makes payment amounting to Rs 1,000 or more, they will have to issue a PAN bill for which they need to have PAN card for their businesses. There are an estimated 56,000 retailers in Kathmandu, of which not even 50% have acquired PAN, according to the association.

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