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Nepal king pays custom duties

Source: PTI
December 08, 2006 17:52 IST
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For the first time in Nepal's history, King Gyanendra and his son Crown Prince Paras have been made to pay custom duties for importing goods, yet another sign of the royal family's dwindling status.

The Customs Office at the Tribhuvan International Airport on Wednesday charged (Nepalese) Rs 130,702 ($ 1,742) as duty and tax on goods the royal family members received recently from foreign countries, customs officials said in Kathmandu.

The office slapped Rs 53,739 in customs duty on 50 pieces of torchlight imported from the US in the name of King Gyanendra and Rs 77,193 in customs dusty, demurrage charge, tax and fine to acquire a Hunting Trophy that came from Vienna, Austria for Crown Prince Paras, they were quoted as saying by the daily Kathmandu Post on Friday.

"We have released the consignments after charging customs duty and other charges," an official said.

This is probably for the first time the king, who enjoys a demigod status, was made to pay the taxes in the 238-year-old history of Nepalese monarchy.

Since he was forced to give up absolute power and restore Parliamnet in April, King Gyanendra has been stripped of his major powers, command over the army and his immunity from prosecution.

The government has also decided to levy tax on royal property and royal family income.

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