Finance Minister Dr Yubraj Khatiwada has said that there is no change in customs and any other tax rates for the import of electronic vehicles (EVs) to be used for public transportation system. Responding to the queries raised by the parliamentarians on Appropriation Bill 2077 in the House of Representatives meeting today, he said that the government was promoting public transports with EVs and the customs rate is fixed just one percent.
He was of the argument that the tax rates for the EVs to be used for private purpose were slightly changed. Saying that a bold decision was taken during the India’s blockade to Nepal to import the EVs at 10 per cent customs rate, the Finance Minister reaffirmed that the import of EVs for the purpose of public use is just one percent.
On the occasion, he said that there will be a massive change in public transportation sector if we move ahead by finalising the Public Transport Authority Bill, which is under consideration in the House. Regarding the tax reduction on chocolate, Minister Dr Khatiwada argued that the decision was not taken by looking at few firms adding that 124 companies import chocolates in the country. Dr Khatiwada said that the decision to limit the customs rate of chocolates in 30 per cent was not influenced by anyone.
Likewise, he said that though the size of budget was reduced by four percent due to the situation caused by COVID-19, Dr Khatiwada added that the government should also bear the regular burden. Despite some reduction in budget on the title of physical construction, the government has allocated budget with the motives to complete the uncompleted projects. Furthermore, the Finance Minister said that emphasis has been given to maintain balance in education, health care and agricultures as well as in relief and rehabilitation packages to reduce the impacts of COVID-19.
Despite enlarging the ambit of revenue, the revenue collection could not increase in the current fiscal year, he said, adding that high digit of economic growth was needed for higher revenue collection. On Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Minister Dr Khatiwada said that there is nothing to say on this since it is under consideration in the Parliament. On the occasion, the Finance Minister said that the government will disseminate information in a transparent way regarding the expenses done by the government for the control of coronavirus. Dissatisfied with Dr Khatiwada’s response, lawmakers Dr Minendra Rijal, Pradip Yadav and Prem Suwal had made additional questions to the Finance Minister.