NOC collects Rs. 28 billion as infrastructure tax for the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project

Kathmandu, Feb 7: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has collected infrastructure tax amounting to Rs. 28 billion for the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project by the end of January, 2019.

According to joint spokesman at NOC Binit Upadhyay, the tax collected by the corporation as infrastructure tax reached Rs. 28 billion by the end of January this year.

The NOC has been collecting Rs. 5 per litre on petroleum products- diesel, petrol and aviation fuel under the heading of infrastructure tax for the Budhigandaki Hydropower project since May, 2016 after the government imposed additional tax on the fuel.

Earlier, the NOC used to collect the tax under the heading of Budhigandaki Hydropower project, but since this fiscal year, it has been collecting the same under the heading of infrastructure tax, he said.

While announcing the tax, the government had said that the amount thus collected would be spent to develop the 1,200 MW project in the Budhi Gandaki River that flows between Gorkha and Dhading districts.

In average, the NOC has been collecting around Rs. 700-800 million a month for the project, he said, adding the collected money was deposited in government treasury.

Annually, the NOC has been collecting around Rs. 11 to Rs. 12 billion in the fund, he added. “However, the collection amount depends on the import of fuel.

Earlier, the NOC had demanded that the government should provide 25 per cent shares of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project to the Corporation citing that it was the major financing sources for the project, he said.

“We have requested the government to allocate organisational shares of the project as we have ensured the fund to construct the project,” he said.

He said that the proposal of the NOC about the share had reached the Ministry of Finance, but no decision was taken till date.

He said that the corporation has been contributing to the hydro project by collecting fund in  the heading of  infrastructure tax, but the corporation had been spending from its profit for the development of its infrastructure.

Talking about the financial condition of the corporation, he said that the corporation making profit of around Rs. 1.16 billion a fortnight.

Following the increment of the price of petroleum products based on the auto-pricing system, the NOC has been able to earn more this month.

“But its cumulative loss of the current fiscal year is still around 1.27 billion,” he added.

Reduction of the price of cooking gas in the international market contributed to the profit, he said, adding that the corporation was still facing a loss of Rs. 32 per cylinder in cooking gas, which once had reached over Rs. 500 few months ago.

 

Source : The Rising Nepal

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