Ramechhap residents have been bearing the brunt of having to pay double tax while purchasing construction materials in the district.
Due to procrastination on the part of District Development Committee and the Ministry of Local Development in calling tender, the DDC itself has been collecting revenue on the sale of construction materials, including boulders, gravel and sand, among others, this fiscal. As the office failed to develop a systematic way of collecting tax, the locals have had to pay double tax on these items.
The DDC did not receive any tender as per its criteria. It used its employees to sell construction materials targeting residents of the district headquarters. Since the office mobilised its employees in the main market areas, various local organisations have been collecting revenue on the extraction of such items on the banks of Tamakoshi River, said Santosh Karki of Manthali Municipality.
Consumers complained they had to pay tax to various organisations on the one hand, while on the other, they had to pay tax to the DDC, due to lack of timely tender process. The office has deployed only three employees, one each, at Bhaishweshwor Chowk, Traffic Chowk and Seleghat Chowk, citing manpower crunch for revenue collection. DDC Programme Office Narayan Subedi said the office failed to pay attention to the entire district.
According to consumers, a number of local clubs, organisations and groups have been imposing at least Rs 600 to Rs 3,000 per trip of sand at Rasnalu, Thoshe, Karambot, Khimti, Milti and Rajgaun, taking advantage of the DDC's failure.
Lok Bahadur Chaulagain, chief at Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office, said construction projects are on the verge of closure due to the double taxation system on the purchase of construction materials.
A version of this article appears in print on April 08, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.