The government has extended the deadline to clear tax by two weeks following widespread condemnation of its reminder to do so during the period of lockdown.
The Inland Revenue Department issuing a statement Wednesday afternoon has extended the deadline to clear taxes payable till mid-April to June 21 from June 7. VAT and excise duty can now be cleared by June 21 and income tax by June 29.
The government's decision to remind taxpayers to clear the tax amidst ongoing lockdown was widely criticized by the business community and opposition politicians.
Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba said there is no alternative to non-violent defiance of the government's reminder to pay tax during the period of lockdown.
"There is no alternative to non-violent defiance of the government's reminder to pay tax by June 7," Deuba said issuing a statement earlier on Wednesday. "Do take back the reminder and extend deadline, government."
He said the main opposition party's attention has been seriously drawn to the reminder sent by the government through the Inland Revenue Department to clear different kinds of taxes by June 7 with utter disregard to the problems faced by small and big entrepreneurs due to the lockdown.
"The government was never serious about making judicious relief arrangements despite repeated urgings by the opposition. Sending reminder to pay the tax when the lockdown has continued for almost two and half months and the current extension is set to last till June 14 is blatantly pretending to not know the plight of market, and insensitive toward the sufferings of the citizens," the statement read.
He reminded that the government functions due to the taxes paid by the citizens and pointed that it is the duty and responsibility of the government to play a facilitatory role when the taxpayers are facing adverse situation. "The citizens do not have any alternative to non-violent defiance when the government reminds to pay tax in a harsh manner without fulfilling that responsibility," the statement added.
He also accused the government of not taking any initiative to gradual opening of small and big businesses by expanding the scope of PCR testing. He claimed that reminding to pay tax during the time of lockdown has proved that the government is not serious and responsible but irresponsible and insensitive.
"I demand with the government to immediately withdraw the reminder to pay tax by June 7 and extend deadline through evaluation of the situation and dialogue."