MBC teahouses run untaxed despite having good transactions

Birat Anupam

November 4, 2022


MBC teahouses run untaxed despite having good transactions

Image for Representation. (File photo)

ITAHARI: Makalu Base Camp trek is teahouse trek destination. Teahouse trek destination means trekkers do not have to carry sleeping bags, tents, other daily eatables, and the likes.

There are enough teahouses in the MBC trek route from very entry point to the ultimate destination of base camp. Teahouses are doing brisk business.

”We just work here for seasonal months mostly in spring and autumn,” said a local teahouse operator. He said average earning during this season in a year amounts to around Rs. 1 million. Some well-equipped and foreign clients-frequented teahouses earn more, he said.

Even a normal teahouse with limited space also makes around half million rupees in a year. Teahouse operators said they are not asked to pay taxes neither by local government nor by national park.

Despite having good seasonal earning, teahouses in MBC trek route are not taxed. Interestingly, almost all teahouses inside Makalu Barun National Park and in its buffer zones are not formally registered.

Ongdi Sherpa, the chairperson at Makalu Rural Municipality said teahouse located inside ward number two of the rural municipality are not registered mainly for legal reasons.

”Local government does not have legal ground to tax the teahouses as they belong to park area”, said Sherpa, adding, ”despite this we are working to improve infrastructures.

This year, we have allocated Rs 4 million for some infrastructural works on Shiva Dhara area.” Sherpa said taxation would have added the internal income of the local government.

Chief Conservation Officer at Makalu Barun National Park, Ramdev Chaudhary, confessed untaxed teahouses.

”There is pending parliamentary preparation afoot to tax teahouse and hotels along the trekking route”, said Chaudhary, ”But, it is in the making process and has not been finalized yet.” Chaudhary said, once the legal provision is made after the parliamentary passage of the related bill, taxation would start in the MBC route.

There are mainly eleven teahouse and hotels areas in MBC trek. There are six home-stays in Seduwa and the volume is same even in Tashi Gaun. In Danda Kharka there are two separate teahouses.

In Thulo Danda (Shipton La pass), Dobato and Fematang there are two, one and one teahouse respectively.

Likewise, in Yangle Kharka, Tadosa, Langmale and base camp, there are three, one, one and three teahouse respectively. There are chances of additional teahouses as the traffic of trekkers has increased in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic, say informed locals.