Demand to scrap VAT book as import of book stops

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Kathmandu: The importers of books have demanded that the Finance Ministry scrap nine percent VAT imposed on the import of books. The book importers shared the plight that they stopped importing books after they were bound to pay 10 per cent tax for book sale.

At a programme organized by Nepal National Book Sellers’ and Publishers’ Association in the capital city on Wednesday, they said the students and researchers were facing problems as the import of essential books for the school and university stopped.

On the occasion, former minister and ruling party NCP leader Raghu Ji Pant viewed that it was wrong to impose tax on book. So government must scrap this decision. “Government only saw the income of some tens of thousands from the sale of book, but remained blind to the court order to raise billions of tax. The Finance Ministry failed to guess the impact of tax on book import,” he added.

According to the Association, the books worth Rs 1 billion were imported last year. With the tax on imported books, the price of books would obviously raise, it added.

On the occasion, economist Dr Chandramani Adhikari viewed that it was not practical to impose VAT on books. Tax on knowledge indicate that the national resolution of prosperous Nepal would not be successful, he added.

Similarly, Joint Coordinator of Nepal National University Teachers’ Organization, Professor Dr Ramesh Prasad Bhattarai, demanded that the government scrap the decision of VAT on book, because Nepali students in university were largely dependent on foreign books for resources while doing research.

Chairman of Consumers’ Rights Protection Forum, Jyoti Baniya, suggested the government that it could expand tax net to other sectors instead of imposing tax on import of books.