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CAN Federation urges government to reconsider excise duty on laptops

B360 June 5, 2024, 1:20 pm
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KATHMANDU: Federation of Computer Association Nepal (CAN Federation) has appealed to the government to reconsider the excise duty levied on laptops in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024/25. A meeting of the CAN Federation held on Tuesday urged the government to rethink the 5% excise tax imposed on laptops in the budget.

CAN Federation President Ranjeet Kumar Poddar suggested that this tax would increase laptop prices in Nepal, negatively affecting various sectors, including Information and Communications Technology (ICT). He pointed out that excise duty, typically levied on items on the negative list considered harmful to human health, has been extended to laptops and notebooks. "We draw the government's attention to the fact that an excise duty is being applied to a device that is vital for the progression of Information Technology (IT)," Poddar stated.

He expressed concerns that while the government is introducing beneficial programmes aimed at the IT sector for the next fiscal year, the increased excise duty on laptops sends a negative message.

"If the price of a laptop is Rs 100,000, VAT adds Rs 13,000. Now, with the 5% excise duty, it will rise to Rs 118,000," explained President Poddar, adding, "It appears that consumers will be most affected by this." He also argued that this could disrupt the market by encouraging the grey market for laptops.

"Laptops will be readily available in the grey market because they are more affordable. As a result, the grey market will expand even further," President Poddar stated, "It can be inferred that the government's move has also discouraged authorised distributors. Therefore, the government needs to reconsider this action.”

Similarly, CAN Federation General Secretary Chiranjibi Adhikari stated that the government's move would directly affect various sectors, including education, health, tourism, finance, IT, and hospitals. He emphasised that to foster a technology-friendly society, it is necessary to have a supportive policy for the import of essential devices such as laptops.



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JUNE 2024

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