Nepal collects revenue of Rs 5 billion annually from import and export of Rs 20-25 billion worth goods though Tatopani border point.
SINDHUPALCHOWK, Feb 10: Trade through Tatopani checkpoint at the northern border resumed on Tuesday after 19 days. The trade point came into operation soon after the maintenance of Miteri Bridge connecting Nepal with China was completed.
China had suspended the trade from January 22, citing that it was repairing the bridge, which the Chinese side said would take 20 days at most. “The trade resumed on the 20th day,” said Lal Bahadur Khatri, chief of the Tatopani Dry Port Customs Office. He informed that six Nepali containers carrying apples and wool arrived at the port on the first day of operation.
The Miteri Bridge, which was damaged by the floods in Bhotekoshi last monsoon, has been repaired by China. After the devastating earthquakes of 2015 damaged the Miteri Bridge, China had built a new one in the same place, which had come into operation in 2016.
Nepal collects revenue of Rs 5 billion annually from import and export of Rs 20-25 billion worth goods though this border point.
The checkpoint remained completely closed for four years after the earthquake. The checkpoint was re-opened on May 29, 2019. In the meantime, the checkpoints were closed and reopened eight times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, floods and landslides.
According to the customs office, revenue collection of at least Rs 150 million has been affected as the checkpoint remained closed for the last 19 days. Khatri informed that China has committed to send 40 containers of goods to Nepal per day. “With this, it is likely that the trade will see a significant improvement,” he told Republica.
He said Nepali traders will have to order in bulk to bring improvement in the trade ecosystem. With the operation of the trade point, it has become easier for traders to order goods from China. The import and export business via the check point has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, flood and landslide during the monsoon.
According to Khatri, about a thousand containers of goods belonging to Nepali entrepreneurs that remained stuck since February last year have been brought to Nepal within the last three months.
The customs office has stated that the transaction has been gradually improving after the introduction of ‘container hook and drop model’ to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
After this model was implemented from November 25, about 30 containers used to enter Nepal via the port daily, according to the data of customs office.