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India unwilling to pay millions of tax dues in Koshi Project

India is unwilling to pay millions of tax on its activities in the Koshi Project. According to Santosh Limbu, the Liaison Land Cum Land Acquisition Officer associated with Koshi Project from the Nepali side; India has pending tax dues for three years.

”In Koshi area, based on our Koshi Agreement of 25 April 1954, all executive roles rest on India and Nepal is in the negotiating role”, said Limbu, ”However, India must consult Nepal before doing any works and must pay legal tax for its activities in Koshi area.”

Limbu said India has been paying land revenue tax for 13,337 Bighas of land acquired for the project. Based on a 199-year-long agreement on Koshi, it has been just around 66 years.

”Rs 20 million is pending to pay Nepal Government from our Liaison Land Cum Land Acquisition Office of Biratnagar”, informed Limbu. He added, ”Together with this and other remaining tax, it totals more than Rs. 140 million to be paid by India.’

Limbu said he has officially written to the Indian side to pay tax dues at the earliest. He has also written to the tax offices about the huge tax dues.

Limbu said 13 percent of Value Added Tax to Inland Revenue Office and 4 percent royalties to the Liaison Cum Land Acquisition Office of Biratnagar are charged for various economic activities in the Koshi Project.

”I personally contacted Indian officials related to the payment, they negated by saying that online system has hindered their payment procedure”, informed Limbu who was seen observation rising Koshi level at Thakurbari area of Barahakshetra Municipality-6, Sunsari.

Limbu, appointed as Nepal represented by Nepal Government two years ago, has said pending tax dues in times of global pandemic from a big economy like India is not fair. ”We are not demanding any justified amounts, we are just asking to pay pending royalties”, said Limbu.

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