Kathmandu, Sept 17: Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) has protested what bit called the triple tax imposed by the federal, provincial and local governments by interfering in the autonomy of the community forest users’ groups.
The community forestry users groups have been paying 15 percent forest product tax to the government since the past.
FECOFUN has claimed that apart from this tax, the various levels of government have formulated laws to impose additional tax and hence its protest.
The third meeting of the FECOFUN’s national working committee held in Jumla on September 6 and 7 has decided to wage a protest movement against the triple tax, FECOFUN’s president Bharati Pathak informed today.
According to her, the federal government has imposed 15 percent tax on the amount coming from the sale of Sal and Khayar timber, the local government have levied 10 percent tax on the amount from the sale of forest based products and the State 1 government has imposed additional 15 percent tax on the sale of forest products except the Sal and Khayar timber.
Similarly, the State 3 government has imposed 10 percent tax on the sale of forest products and a service tax of 0.25 percent, value added tax of 13 percent and 25 percent income tax on the saving amount of the users groups as per the Income Tax Act.
The community forestry users groups have been spending 25 percent of their total earning in forest management, 35 percent in the livelihood support of the indigent class and 40 percent for community development.
“We are compelled to wage a protest movement since our demands that we had placed from time to time have been ignored and the tax load has been forced upon us.
Our demands include the distribution of the 15 percent tax that the community forests have been paying to the federal government to all the three levels through the Natural Resource and Finance Commission and for annulment of the taxes proposed at present,” the FECOFUN president explained the reason for their protest movement.