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PAC directs to recover arrears from casinos

KATHMANDU: Legislature-Parliament, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed the government to recover the arrears immediately.

The committee’s meeting held at Singha Durbar today instructed the Ministry of FinaNce and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation to recover the arrears from the casinos that have not paid the royalty to the government by giving them more time.

PAC chairman Ram Krishna Yadav said the meeting concluded that the government has done an illegal activity by allowing the operation of ‘electronic gaming’ throughout the country and also issued directive to the bodies concerned to immediately stop it.

It also directed the government to implement the earlier directive the PAC had issued to the effect that the illegal acts taking place in the name of casino through electronic machines and casinos be stopped.

The PAC had concluded at its previous meeting on December 29, 2010 that these activities were operating without formulating the related regulations and guidelines.

The PAC meeting today also heard that the Revenue Investigation Department submitted the royalty amount collected from six casinos until December 15, 2011 and that it was yet to submit the royalty amount collected from three casinos.

The casinos that paid the royalty amount to the government are the Everest Casino, Casino Tara, Casino Shangri-la, Casino Grand, Casino Venus and Casino RAD.

It is said the Casino Royal is yet to pay Rs. 45.6 million, Casino Nepal Rs. 169.3 million, Casino Fulbari Rs. 67.9 million and Casino Anna Rs. 118.3 million in royalty to the government.

Although an amount of Rs. 166.5 million has come in the state’s coffers as royalty, still Rs. 402.2 million remains to be recovered.

At the PAC meeting today, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation had briefed the committee members on the works carried out by their ministries.

Finance Minister Barshaman Pun said action should be taken against casinos not paying the arrears and that his ministry was for creating conducive environment for casinos who want to pay the arrears and to regulate those not doing so.

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Lokendra Bistamagar said it was at the initiation of his ministry that Rs. 190.9 million royalty could be realised from the casinos. He said the arrears could not be realized from casinos due to the lack of clear-cut policy and regulations and stressed on reforming the regulations.

Lawmaker Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani of the Rastriya Janashakti Party said the government itself should take the initiatives for regulating the casinos.RSS

Published Date: Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 | 03:49 AM

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