Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Medical college flouting tax rules

National Medical College and Teaching Hospital based in Birgunj Sub-Metropolitan City has been refusing to pay millions of rupees as taxes to the government.

The medical college has not paid taxes—lands, rental, business and vehicle—worth around Rs 100 million since its inception in 2001, according to Shanta Basnet, tax officer of the sub-metropolitan city. Local Self-Governance Act has allowed local governments to collect these taxes.

Basnet said the hospital management has not been responding to their repeated approach. On Tuesday, the sub-metropolitan city requested the District Administrative Office to help it recover tax from the hospital.

Managing director of the hospital Basaruddhin Ansari sought to remain quit on the issue. But an administrative staff of the hospital Seraj Ansari said the hospital has been exempted from paying taxes as per the law.

After the college claimed that hospitals should not pay taxes to local authorities as per the law, the sub-metropolitan city showed them evidences of medical colleges paying taxes in other parts of the country. “Even after we showed them such evidences, they are still reluctant to pay tax” said tax officer Basnet.

The hospital, however, has been enjoying state facilities. The sub-metropolitan city, in coordination with consumer committee, has built a 630-metre black-topped road from Bhediyahi Chowk to the hospital with an investment of Rs 4.11million, according to Prakash Amatya, chief of planning department at the sub-metropolitan city. The local authority has also arranged street lights along the road.

“We will now initiate legal action against the hospital,” said Shiva Dutta Bhattarai, executive officer of the sub-metropolitan city.

Besides not paying tax, it has also been revealed that physical infrastructure of the college has been built without getting maps endorsed by the local body. The local authority had approved maps of four three-story buildings on 1 bigha and 18 kattha of land, but the hospital constructed six-story buildings. “The hospital has not taken approval for six-story buildings,” said Amatya.

Around 1000 patients visit the 1500-bed hospital every day. Besides Nepali students, Indian and Bangladeshi students are also studying in the medical college.

source:The Kathmandu Post