Kathmandu, November 8
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives has summoned Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada at the committee’s next meeting to discuss its concerns related to procurement of excise duty stickers.
The next PAC meeting is scheduled for Monday.
The PAC meeting held today directed the government to temporarily suspend the excise duty sticker procurement process and summoned the finance minister and other related officials for discussion on Monday.
PAC has expressed concerns that the domestic private sector was barred during the bidding process.
On September 30, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had published a global tender notice calling international bidders to submit applications for procurement of excise duty stickers. Subsequently, the PAC had immediately asked IRD to ensure participation of domestic printing companies in the bidding process as well.
However, IRD had said that the procurement process could not be halted as there was no registered security printing industry in the country.
The IRD had also confirmed with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) that there was no security printing industry in the country. After receiving the confirmation from both the ministries, IRD had also said that it was not possible to abide by the PAC’s direction as there is no existing law related to security printing industry.
Government officials have been saying that Nepali firms, though involved in security printing works, cannot meet the specifications necessary to print excise duty stickers.
Meanwhile, an official at the IRD said that PAC might have misunderstood the issue, as it had earlier stated that the country’s security agencies could be mobilised to safeguard the printing of the excise stickers. “The issue is about security stickers, not the security of stickers,” said the IRD official.
Written by Sureis
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/public-accounts-committee-summons-finance-minister-yubaraj-khatiwada-for-discussion/ under the title “PAC summons FinMin for discussion”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.