Supreme Court seeks govt explanations on scrapping 10% customs duty on imported books

Published On: December 19, 2020 02:55 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 19: The Federation of Nepal Printers’ Associations (FNPA) has said that the government’s move to revoke the tariff imposed earlier on the imported books will adversely affect the domestic publishers.

Issuing a press statement, the FNPA said it is not fair to completely waive the taxes on imported books while imposing more than 28 percent tax that includes customs duty of 15 percent and 13 percent value added tax in the import of raw materials including papers. “It will hit the government revenue along with the opportunity for employment,” reads the press statement.

Shortly after assuming his office, Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad  Paudel had withdrawn the controversial decision made by former Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada to impose 10 percent customs duty on the imported books.

Earlier, then finance ministers Ram Sharan Mahat (fiscal year 1997-98) and Madhukar Rana (fiscal year 2005-06) had also attempted to put a 10 percent and 5 percent duty, respectively. But they had to step back from the decisions due to pressure from various quarters.

Lately, the government in its budget for the fiscal year 2019/20 enforced the provision on the pretext of safeguarding the domestic publishers, which was revoked by the cabinet meeting of November 10.

Expressing concern over the government decision, the FNPA had earlier knocked the doors of the Supreme Court. The apex court on Friday ordered the government to appear for discussion on rationale of the government's latest decision. 


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