Sunday, March 4, 2012

'Hello Sarkar' helps boost revenue mobilisation

Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai's populist grievance addresser mechanism 'Hello Sarkar' (Hello Government!) has helped boost the revenue mobilisation.
From the complaints received to the 'Hello Sarkar', the Finance Ministry has been able to benefit, said spokesperson of the ministry Rajan Khanal. "We received a call asking for taxing various businesses including house rents," he said, adding that the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has — in a case — fixed and received tax too. However, he did not elaborate on the business that has been taxed due to the complaint.
Prime Minister Bhattarai had formed a mechanism 'Hello Sarkar' on November 5 to respond to public grievances. He had inaugurated the control room where anyone facing hassles may call at anytime at 1111 or lodge complaints via fax 1100 or e-mail or SMS 1111 or use for service.
The control room, in the beginning, was flooded by the complaints but slowly faded out as it became redundant and the government ministries did not give it a ear.
"However, the Finance Ministry is exception, it’s not only the callers, but the ministry has also got benefitted as the ministry could also get feedback of its programmes and policy apart from helping boost the revenue mobilisation and vigilance," according to finance secretary Krishna Hari Baskot.
Of the total 590 complaints received till yesterday related to the Finance Ministry, it has addressed some 53 per cent, Khanal informed, adding that the complaints have been divided into three — common, priority and high priority — categories.
The high priority complaints get first priority followed by the priority complaints and common ones. "Of the total 590 complaints, some 15 were under high priority, 236 under priority and more than half 339 were related to common problems like delay in work, reinstatement of bank branches and frauds. “Some people even complained the Prime Minister of the inefficiency of the Finance Ministry," he added. "Unity — the ponzy scheme that cheated thousands of people of their hard earned money — topped the complaints list followed by queries about Youth Self-Employment programme," according to Khanal. "Of the total, some 111 complaints were related to banks and financial institutions whereas some 90 complaints were related to revenue."

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