Polluter Pays Principle is the broader perspective to deal with the issue of pollution in the present context. It emphasizes that the person who causes pollution has to bear the cost of such pollution and also envisions pollution victims having the right to seek restitution from those who are guilty for the pollution. The PPP entails that the costs of preventing, controlling, and remedying pollution should be internalized by the polluter, rather than being shifted to society or future generations. It promotes the idea of environmental responsibility and encourages the adoption of cleaner and more sustainable practices. In Nepal, different laws and policies have been enacted to execute the polluter pays principle. Though law making authority has been decentralized along with the advent of federalism, the provincial government of Gandaki has not made any significant rules and regulations in the pretext of the polluter pay principle.
Analyzing the Financial Act of five last year from 2018/19 to 2023/24 of Gandaki Province and Province Vehicles and Transportation Act 2019 (2076); there is no remarkable contribution made to address polluter pays doctrine to ensure systematic and scientific execution of motor vehicle taxes here.
In the Section 103 of the Province Vehicles and Transportation Act 2019 (2076) mandates a pollution check during the registration of vehicles specified under this Act. It explicitly states that no license can be issued for the operation of any vehicle without a pollution check. Likewise, Section 105 mentions the issuance of pollution check stickers where the authorized officer checks the pollution level of such vehicle and if such vehicle is found to be within the specified pollution standards, then only they will issue a pollution check sticker in the prescribed format and the recognition of such pollution check sticker given will be valid for up to six months in case of public vehicles and for one year in case of other vehicles. Though these provisions are a significant stride in pollution prevention. However, it is worth noting that there are currently no specific measures in place for implementing the Polluter Pays Principle, which assigns responsibility for pollution control to the polluting entities.
Hence, we need the motor vehicle tax of Gandaki Province to incorporate this approach as it fosters consideration of environmental impacts and promotes more sustainable practices by including the costs of pollution into the economic decision-making processes of polluting entities which purports us to achieve the goal of eco-friendly revenue collection.
A dedicated and aspiring law graduate, currently serves as a diligent researcher at the Pokhara Research Centre.