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Nepal government rejects former king’s tax waiver plea

world Updated: Jan 06, 2010 13:33 IST
Utpal/HT Correspondent

The Nepal government has rejected a request by deposed king Gyanendra Shah seeking tax waiver on his personal and family property including utility bills.

Disposing the former regent’s plea, a meeting of the cabinet committee on bills decided on Tuesday to ask him to clear all outstanding dues since his removal after the constituent assembly election in 2008.

“Now he is a common citizen and will have to pay all taxes like other citizens,” Minister for Law and Justice Prem Bahadur Singh told reporters.

Gyanendra had written to the finance ministry in August last year seeking tax waiver. He had also sought details of unpaid taxes and bills after the country became a republic.

As per the fresh development, Gyanendra would not only have to pay tax on his income and property, but also pay dues incurred on telephone, electricity and water provided to him.

The move completes Gyanendra’s downfall from being Nepal’s monarch to becoming a commoner. Last year, the 64-year-old had obtained a passport for the first time in his life.

Before Nepal became a republic in May 2008, the king and the palace had enjoyed a complete tax holiday. Sources say that Gyanendra would now have to pay nearly Rs 200 million (2.7 million US $) as outstanding dues.

“The cabinet committee’s decision brings the former king and family under the tax net. The government will collect taxes and tariffs as he has become a common citizen,” said Singh.