Surge in donation drive worries business houses

Published On: June 13, 2016 05:43 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 13: Surge in donations sought by political parties has left big business and corporate houses worried.

CPN Maoist led by Netra Bikram Chand aka Biplab has intensified donation drive. In letters sent to several corporate houses, the party has said they need support for their ongoing movement.

A leading industrialist, who talked to Republica on condition of anonymity, said that CPN Maoist has sent letters to big business houses and corporate groups, demanding donations. “We need to negotiate hard because their demand is very high,” the industrialist said.

Business houses denying donation to the party are receiving threats, according to a source. The party also resorts to vandalism to compel business houses to pay donation to them.

A hydropower developer told Republica that the party has sought Rs 1 million from them. The developer said that the party was not willing to sit for negotiation.

CPN Maoist Spokesperson Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma neither received calls, nor responded to Republica's text message for comment.

Media reports say that the party has also threatened Ncell for not paying capital gains tax (CGT) to the government.

Unidentified groups on Saturday vandalized Ncell tower in Beni. No one has taken responsibility for the attack.

The party had organized a nationwide strike on Thursday and torched vehicles that defied the strike. Though the government, in the budget for Fiscal Year 2016/17, has announced to recover loss due to strikes and banda from the organizers, CPN Maoist has not taken responsibility of the damages.

Even a small attack on industries and corporate houses is enough to create panic in the industrial sector. It is because of this that small cases are not reported to police.

CPN Maoist is the only party that is seeking donation from big business and corporate houses. Tarai Madesh Democratic Party has also approached big business houses for donation for its upcoming general convention to be held in Nawalparasi.

Similarly, Naya Shakti Nepal, which claimed the expenses of the party announcement program held on Sunday, were contributed by general members is also appealing for donations. The expenditure of party announcement program has been estimated at Rs 10.05 million.

Party's coordinator Baburam Bhattarai has been inviting business leaders at his party office in Babarmahal for talks. Sources say Bhattarai requests them to contribute fund for the party.

“But the demand is not in written form," a source said.

Other senior leaders of the party make follow-up for the fund through telephone calls, the source added.  
"As the party is still unregistered, its donation appeal should not be entertained as we don't know whether it will be used properly," a business community leader said.

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