POKHARA, Sep. 1: Fedikhola Rural Municipality of Syangja is collecting taxes not only from the high-earning businesspersons but also from the farmers and vendors. Farmers who sell their agricultural products in bamboo baskets, locally known as Dokos, are levied Rs 10 per basket.
Pushpa Paudel, assistant accountant of the rural municipality office informed Republica that even farmers are not spared the burden of tax. Legally, the local units are not allowed to collect taxes leading to double taxation but these farmers have to pay this tax for each basket. Locals say that the local units are extorting from the poor and middle class people in the name of tax.
Large-size passenger buses are imposed a tax of Rs 300 after by some local units. Madi, Annapurna, Rupa, Machhapuchre, Kushma, and Bandipur among other local units of the province are levying 'repeated' taxes from passenger vehicles entering there jurisdiction. However, the constitution does not allow the local units to levy such taxes. Each local unit has been charging different amount for the registration of various incidents.
Not even the federal government has the right to prohibit the local government from its monopoly in tax. Leaders of the central government on the other hand claim that discussions are being made to fix a minimum ceiling and make a work plan for charging taxes.
On Wednesday, a committee appointed by the federal cabinet participated in an interaction to discuss about the hefty taxes being imposed by the local governments. Chairs and Vice-chairs of various districts gave briefing of taxes imposed by the local units. Representatives of the local units lamented that they have been having confusion over the rules of the province and the center. They stated that they are still unclear about tax laws.