Truckers upset by multiple taxationPublic fear that newly-formed local bodies would start imposing various taxes and fees rampantly has come true with several rural municipalities in Dhading district levying taxes on the extraction and transportation of natural resources like sand and aggregates.
Public fear that newly-formed local bodies would start imposing various taxes and fees rampantly has come true with several rural municipalities in Dhading district levying taxes on the extraction and transportation of natural resources like sand and aggregates.
A dispute has arisen in the district after local bodies declared their right to tax the export of sand and aggregates extracted from various rivers in Dhading.
After the dissolution of the district development committee (DDC), the agency authorised to collect export taxes under the previous state structure, newly-formed local bodies have started collecting fees from transporters of construction materials under various headings.
The transporters have lodged a complaint with the district coordination committee (DCC) and the local administration of the district about the imposition of multiple taxes.
According to the guideline on the operation of local bodies, only the DCC is allowed to levy export tax on sand and aggregates. As per the guideline, the DCC Dhading has contracted out export tax collection for Rs230 million.
The contractor has placed a toll gate at Naubise and is collecting Rs2,260 from each tipper truck carrying sand and river aggregates.
At the same time, local bodies have been charging Rs1,000 from each tipper truck carrying construction materials out of their jurisdiction area.
Galchhi, Thakre, Gajuri and Benighat rural municipalities in Dhading district host a majority of sand manufacturers and crusher factories.
All rural municipalities, except Thakre, have been charging additional taxes totalling millions of rupees from around 700 truckloads of sand and river aggregates that leave for the Kathmandu Valley every day.
“We have filed written complaints with the DCC and the district administration office (DAO), and have requested them to issue clear provisions on taxation,” said Ganesh Lal Shrestha, president of the National Tipper and Truck Entrepreneur Association.
According to Jib Lal Bhusal, local development officer of Dhading, local bodies are not allowed to collect taxes as the government is yet to formulate a legal framework. He claimed that in the absence of related laws, it was illegal to impose tax on natural resources.
Even after related laws are put in place, local bodies can’t levy multiple layers of tax in an arbitrary manner, said Mahesh Acharya, chief district officer of Dhading.
Benighat Rural Municipality Chair Hari Dallakoti said the fees collected by them should not be considered as tax. “
We are charging a Rs100 fee from each tipper to pay for the repair and maintenance of roads damaged by such heavy trucks,” said Dallakoti. “We started collecting a fee after reaching a mutual agreement.”