BIRGUNJ, Sept 3: Basruddin Ansari, who during his tenure as the managing director of the Birgunj-based National Medical College evaded over Rs 90 million in taxes, has been fielded by the CPN-UML as its candidate for the post of Birgunj Metropolitan City of Parsa district.
Ansari had prevented the metropolis' official sent to serve him the notice on the due taxes. Ansari said he left the position of managing director of the college after securing the ticket from the main opposition party. He is also a member of the college's board.
Locals have been mocking UML's candidate for not paying the taxes. “It is strange to see a person who hasn't paid the municipal taxes vying for the mayoral position,” said Aasu Saraf, a local youth activist. “Did he really think that the voters are stupid? Or is it that he takes himself as a very clever guy?”
The then sub-metropolis' office had time and again reminded him of the due tax. However, the medical college had ignored the repeated requests to clear the outstanding taxes. According to Birgunj Metropolis Office, National Medical College has yet to pay Rs 900.25 million in tax.
After the repeated reminder to clear the due tax failed, the metropolis has taken the issue to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development. Birgunj's executive officer Pitambar Adhikari said they sent a letter to the ministry on June 6 informing that the medical college owes Rs 900.25 million in tax.
“National Medical College has ignored our repeated reminder to clear the due taxes,” the letter reads. Adhikari added that they are still trying to collect the due taxes from the college.
During the tenure of the then executive officer Bishnu Koirala and Financial Administrator Ram Dayal Yadav of the metropolis, the college had paid Rs 13 million on January 17, 2016. At that time, the college's managing director Ansari had declared that they paid all the due taxes. However, after protests from the municipality's workers and civil society, the metropolis' executive officer Koirala had clarified that the college had paid its taxes partly and reminded the college to pay their remaining dues. Since then, the college has refused to clear the tax dues.
Meanwhile, the metropolis has been reeling under severe financial crisis, according Birgunj's Chief Executive Officer Adhikari. 'Secondary Towns Integrated Urban Environmental Improvement Project' is being implemented in Birgunj with 92 percent grant from the Asian Development Bank.
The metropolis is struggling to manage the remaining eight percent of the cost for the project. As per the agreement, the metropolis has to manage Rs 230 million for the project, which they said is not feasible now. In such a critical financial crisis, the collection of the outstanding tax from National Medical College would bring huge respite to the metropolis.