February 22: The government has not been able to utilize Rs 65 billion collected from workers on various pretexts. The government collects funds from workers under the heading of social security tax, social welfare fund, and social security plan.
The government has been deducting once percent tax from workers since 2009/2010. So far, the government has collected Rs 35 billion tax from the workers. Social Security Fund (SSF) has been trying to bring the collected tax under its jurisdiction but has not succeeded in doing so.
Bibek Panthi, spokesperson of SSF, said, “We have been requesting the Ministry of Finance to transfer the collected tax to SSF but the MoF has not paid any attention to our calls.”
MoF officials say that collected social security tax has been spent for allocating social security allowance to the elderly people, widows and people with disabilities.
Likewise, the government has collected Rs 24.50 billion in Workers’ Welfare Fund and Rs 4.26 in Social Security Fund. Employers contribute 20 percent of the basic salary and workers contribute 11 percent to this fund but it has not been utilized effectively.
According to SSF, the collected fund has not been invested effectively due to lack of work procedure. Till now, 2000 workers have applied for financial support from this fund under various headings – medical treatment, maternity treatment, accident and disability treatment.
Binod Shrestha, president of the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), says that the government should invest the collected funds from workers for the welfare of the workers.
He argues that social security tax collected from workers should be transferred to Social Security Fund instead of spending it.