- Published Date : June 11, 2020
Joint Press Release of NEFEJ, CEN and EVAN
Three organizations active in environment and electric vehicle promotion have demanded to remove anchorage on electric vehicle immediately by publishing joint press release on Sunday 18 May 2020. Nepal Forum of Environment Journalists (NEFEJ), Clean Energy Nepal (CEN), and Electric Vehicle Association of Nepal (EVAN) had jointly issued a press release indicating that government action of increasing import tax to electric vehicle is regressive and this will hamper national economy and human health.
They mentioned that this action of Government is against announced government’s policy, program, plan and white paper.
Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada, during budget speech of 2077/78 on Thursday, 28th May 2020, had said to increase import tax instead of earlier 10% custom charge to electric vehicle. As per the speech, 40% custom tax, 40 to 80 % excise duty, 13 % VAT and 5% road tax will be added in electric vehicle.
These organizations have condemned this action of increasing taxes to electric vehicle saying regressiveaction of government. After increasing the taxes, price of electric vehicle will be double. They mentioned that such action will discourage use of electric vehicle and this is clear that government is not standing steadily on announcement made by President & Prime Minister, long term development vision, policies, programs, and commitment.
They mention “we haveasked governmentto give special discount on electric vehicle before budget speech this year and last year through written appeal but government has not listened. The press release has been signed jointly byKosmosBishwkarma, BhusanTuladhar and Umesh Raj Shreshtha Chairperson of NEFEJ, CEN and EVAN respectively.
“In the current situation where 2.2 times of Nepal’s total exports have to be spent on petrol and diesel imports, the budget seems to be motivated to encourage the use of petrol and diesel and discourage the use of electricity produced in Nepal,”the statement said.
These organizations have urged the government to immediately remove the taxes levied on electric vehicles and respect the constitutional right of citizens to live in a clean environment. “We would also like to recall the fact that the lockdown is helping to make environment cleaner and that the electric vehicles can play important role to maintain the cleanliness of the environment. Environmentalists are showing increasingly concerned that budget provisions have made electric vehicles beyond the capacity of middle-class people,”the statement said.
“We are well aware of the difficulties that government is facing in raising revenue due to the corona virus,” the statement said. “We condemn the government’s move while there are other options for tackling this problems of increasing revenue,discouraging use of electric vehicle by putting anchorage in operation of electric vehicle and promoting use of fossil fuels “
These organizations have stated that it would not be rational to increase tax on such means. As electricity is produced in own country and charging unused-electricity at nightleads towards self-reliance.
They remained that Last year, President Bidhyadevi Bhandari, during the sharing of government policy and program at House of Parliament, had announced that electrical vehicle will be promoted in Kathamdnu and province capitals. Similarly, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, during inauguration of the electric vehicle of SajhaYatayat, had told that priority will be given for electric vehicle to reduce dependence upon petroleum till 2020. Further, Government’s 15th plan and whitepaper of Ministry of Energy, among imported vehicle till 2023, there will be 50 % electric vehicle.
The statement mentioned that Air pollution is a main challenges of capital and other cities. National and international media have published many stories by connecting human health and pollutions. Many studies shows that air pollution has killed many people. Now, some studies shown that death rate caused by COVID 19 is higher in places of high air pollution.
Press release says “There is no doubt that poisonous gas emission from the vehicle are main source of pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.Further, 2015 Paris agreement on climate change and mitigation has strongly emphasizes on emission reduction. Following the Paris accord, Nepal has shown commitment to promote electric vehicle. Our neighboring countries are replacing petroleum based vehicle by electric one and promoting for production and use. Therefore, Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists, Clean Energy Nepal and Electric Vehicle Association of Nepal strongly demand to show commitment for promotion of electric vehicle by dismissing such regressive decision.”