HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Airport Air Passenger Transportation Service Management, the public company selected to replace the old taxis at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) is asking for a 99 per cent tax relief for the import of new taxis.
“We are asking for a 99 per cent tax relief during the import of 300 brand new taxis for TIA,” said chairman of the company Purosottam Simkhada.
According to him, a committee formed for the management of airport taxis under the coordination of director general of the Department of Transportation Sarat Chandra Poudel in 2009 had also suggested the government to allow 99 per cent tax relief. In 2006, an agreement was also signed between the government and the Department of Transportation to allow tax relief for tourist vehicles for TIA.
“The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has also forwarded its decision to facilitate the import of airport taxis with 99 per cent tax relief,” said Simkhada. The company is planning to replace the old taxis at TIA with prepaid taxis worth Rs 2.5 – Rs 3 million each.
“However if the budget fails to address the tax facilitation issue for airport taxis we will have to opt for vehicles worth half the estimated value,” he said. The company has already deposited a bank guarantee of Rs 4.5 million with TIA. If it fails to operate the taxis as per the agreement the amount will not be refunded.
Currently, the company has applied at the Tourism Industry Department for green number plate for its taxis. “Once we get the green number plate we will start operating 18 new taxis in the initial phase,” he informed.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) had awarded the tender to the company for operating 300 pre-paid green plate taxis replacing the 170 old taxis at TIA. The company will introduce 150 taxis within six months of the agreement and within a year, it must have 300 brand new taxis in operation.
CAAN will also allow the taxi parking space for permanent taxis which will be charged Rs 4,000 for three months according to the regulation. The authority has calculated a total revenue collection of Rs 3.6 million annually from the taxi parking space.
According to TIA, the new prepaid taxis will also have a radio communication system, and English language and a uniform will be compulsory for taxi drivers.