Revoke unscientific tax on community forests, FECOFUN demands

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Pokhara–The Federation of Community Forest Users Nepal (FECOFUN) has demanded that the triple taxation imposed on the community forests across the country be repealed, deeming it to be 'unscientific' one.

FECOFUN central Chairperson Bharati Pathak, at a programme organized by the Federation in Pokhara today, claimed that around 90 percent of tax imposed on community forests' income by the federal government, was very 'unscientific.'

Stating that Nepal made huge progress on conservation of community forests and helped improve the socio-economic condition of the deprived communities, Pathak urged the government to collect tax through one-door policy.

The Ministry of Forests and Environment's statistics shows that altogether 1,813,478 hectare of national forest has been handed over to community forests so far, benefiting as many as 2,461,549 households in the country. Blaming that the government and the forest officials had been on the prowl when it comes to community users forests in the country, she warned of an stern agitation against the newly introduced triple taxation system if the government does not scrap it at the earliest.

According to the new taxation system introduced in the federal set-up, community forests have to pay up to 90 per cent of their total income to the federal, provincial and local governments under various headings. According to her, a huge quantity of resources available in community forests such as timber, herbal medicines, water and other forest produces were being wasted and lying idle in lack of legal hindrance and export hurdles.

On the occasion, FECOFUN Vice-Chairperson Bhim Prakash Khadka pledged that the Federation would work for the welfare of the community forests.

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