July 7: The printing of excise duty stickers has stuck in a dilemma even though the stock of the stickers is said to be running out. The government was preparing to print stickers in the country after the Indonesian security printer Perusahaan Umum Percetakan Uang Republik Indonesia (Perum Peruri), which was assigned with the task of printing excise duty stickers through a global tender, withdrew from the printing process.
The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had also studied about handing over the responsibility of sticker printing to the Department of Printing and Janak Educational Material Center (JEMC) for the time being. Director general of the department, Binod Bahadur Kunwar informs that although a study has been conducted regarding the capabilities of these two government companies, the decision about giving responsibility of printing excise sticker has not been made yet. “The quality of stickers printed in the country may not match that of foreign security press. But as an alternative, we had conducted a study of these two companies,” he said.
The government has been printing more than 40 types of stickers that are required in different bodies of Ministry of Finance (MoF) abroad through global tender. He further said that after the printing of excise duty stickers became complicated, homework on whether to give the responsibility of printing in abroad or in the country is still being done.
As there would be extreme shortage of the stickers when the global tender is called, the IRD is in pressure to print the stickers in the country. However, according to a source of MoF, there is no possibility of handing over the responsibility of printing, because of weak capacity of the companies in Nepal.
“In the past, the country had to bear huge loss due to the leakage of stickers. Even if we are printing them in the country, it would have taken time as we have to do homework regarding the security,” a senior finance official said.
Officials at JEMC say that it is inappropriate to distrust the organisation run by the Ministry of Finance. Mahesh Prasad Timilsina, general manager of JEMC said that they can bring equipment and print the stickers at the price fixed by the government.
During a discussion regarding sticker printing, the department had informed JEMC about the technology. They also had discussion about printing stickers by bringing new technology and purchasing paper for printing that was insufficient. The JEMC officials believe that delayed decision by IRD to allow domestic companies to print the stickers has created confusion on whether to buy the necessary equipment and papers for printing.
“It takes time even if we buy through short method. The government delaying handing over the responsibility of printing to the center shows that the government is not ready to print the stickers in the country,” a senior JEMC official said.
Although the department had given letter of intent to the Indonesian company Perum Peruri to print the stickers through a global tender, the government is further embarrassed after they replied that they could not print the stickers as agreed due to corona.
Garsu Pasaulis of Lithuania, UAB, the second company after Perum Peruri, has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming they should get the contract after breaking the agreement with Perum Peruri.
The department has informed that the old stickers in stock are enough for now, but the decision needs to be taken about new printing soon. “We have to get to the conclusion as soon as possible and we will make decision soon,” said kunwar.