BIRGUNJ, April 18: Import of hydropower equipment and machineries through Birgunj Customs Office, which had fallen drastically due to border obstructions last year, is gradually picking up.
Statistics compiled by Birgunj Customs Office shows that such imports have increased significantly over the first eight months of 2016/17, compared to same period in the last fiscal year. According to the office, 117 companies imported 151 consignments through Birgunj customs in fiscal year 2015/16. In the same period last year, only 125 consignments imported by 98 companies had entered Nepal through the customs office.
In 2014/15, a total of 232 companies had imported 262 consignments from India through the customs office.
According to the office, Rs 3.05 billion worth of hydropower equipment like hydraulic turbine, generator parts, electrical motor generator, wire, panel board, circuit board, and transformer, among others, were imported through Birgunj customs in the first eight months of 2016/17. In the last fiscal year, Rs 4.44 billion worth of hydropower equipment and parts like transformer, electrical motor generator, water pump, aluminum and insulator, among others, through the customs office.
Sebantak Pokhrel, senior customs officer at the Birgunj Customs Office, told Republica that the rise in number of consignments doesn't necessarily mean more revenue mobilization. “Revenue mobilization might go up as price of such materials has increased in the current fiscal year,” he said, adding: “We will know the exact data only after the fiscal year comes to an end.”
In 2014/15, hydropower equipment and machineries worth Rs 5.42 billion entered the country through Birgunj customs. “Expenditure in hydropower projects shouldn't be taken as expenses. We take it as an investment made by the state as hydropower is very crucial for our economy,” industrialist Bijaya Saraogi said. “It will ultimately enhance our productivity.”