Mandatory SSF, PAN provisions will put SMEs at risk, says FWEAN

Published On: July 26, 2019 03:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

'New provisions enforced without consultation with stakeholders'

KATHMANDU, July 26: The Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs' Association of Nepal (FWEAN) has said that its attention has been drawn toward the government's decision to make PAN mandatory for payment of salary to workers, among other issues.

Organizing an interaction in Kathmandu on Wednesday, the federation said that the decision to enforce the new rules related to PAN and social security fund (SSF) without necessary homework will put small and cottage industries at risk.

The government has made PAN mandatory for payment of salary to workers from the current fiscal year. Similarly, it has also enforced contribution-based SSF from the current fiscal year.

"The policy that the government has taken is good. But enforcing it without holding needful consultations with concerned stakeholders can affect the industrial sector," Shova Gyawali, vice president of the FWEAN, said, addressing the program. "Cottage industries employ large number of Indian and foreign nationals. They cannot make PAN. It is difficult for them to open even a bank account," she said, adding that the government should have studied issues like these before making PAN mandatory.

She also alleged that state agencies had failed to inform people about the new government policies related to PAN. "It is the government's responsibility to inform all concerned about issues related to PAN, SSF and VAT in the transport of goods. But the government agencies didn't take it seriously," she added.

Vice president Gyawali also said that the new provisions on PAN and SSF could compound woes of industrial, handicraft and tourism firms.

Also speaking at the program, Sharada Rijal, president of the FWEAN, expressed dissatisfaction over the government's decision to enforce new rules without assessing the literacy rate of workers. "Employers will not have any difficulty in opening bank accounts for their staffers. But staffers are not literate enough to operate their bank accounts," she added.

"Women employed by cottage industries will find it even difficult to understand the banking system as women literacy rate in Nepal is lower than men."

On the occasion, the first vice president, second vice president, treasurer, and general secretary of the FWEAN delivered their remarks. Similarly, several women entrepreneurs also delivered their remarks. 

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