March 2: The process of awarding tender to international companies to print excise duty stickers has not moved ahead as the case is still sub judice at the Supreme Court.
The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had sought applications from international companies on October 15 last year. But the Supreme Court issued an interim order to halt the tender process in response to a writ petition filed by Manohar Raj Ghimire of Mirage Printing Company. International companies from France and Italy had submitted proposals the department is yet to evaluate their proposals.
Shiwadevi Dahal, deputy director general of Department of Revenue Investigation, said it has been difficult to meet the demand of excise duty stickers due to the short supply.
“We have received applications from interested companies but their evaluation process has been halted as the case is pending in the court,” said Dahal.
To meet the current demand of excise duty stickers, Janak Education Material Centre (JEMC) has been printing twelve kinds of stickers. Previously, the IRD had been printing 43 kinds of stickers through foreign companies. The limited number of stickers is insufficient to meet the huge demand, said Dahal.
One of the high-ranking officials of Janak Education Material Centre said, “We have been assigned to print 700 million stickers. But we print stickers only on a specific day when the department specifies the volume to be printed.”
The government had filed a case against SC asking to vacate its interim order in last October. The department had filed for a vacate order stating that the domestic printing companies are vulnerable in terms of security but the SC has not issued a fresh order in this regard.
Dahal said that the department had opened global tender only after reaching a conclusion that domestic printing companies were not capable of printing the stickers as per the required standard.
According to officials of the IRD, it has been issuing global tender from 2005 to print the excise duty stickers. The task of printing stickers is more sensitive that printing bank notes. Domestic companies can’t provide that level of security features, so global tender is a must, say the officials.