RASUWA, April 10: The Chinese government has started providing temporary passes to Nepali container drivers to enter Kerung, a bordering town to China's Tibetan Autonomous Region with the objective of improving trade relations between the two nations.
The border security meeting held in Rasugadhi three months ago had made this decision. Hence, from Monday, the Chinese Immigration Office at Rasuwagadhi officially started providing such passes to Nepali drivers with a valid passport. Santa Bahadur Waiba became the first to receive the temporary pass to Kerung.
Even though trade between the two countries began at the border since 2015, drivers from other parts of the country were not allowed to take their containers to Kerung. Only the drivers of Rasuwagadhi were allowed to transport the goods to Kerung.
According to Kerung Frontier Inspection Station, People's Republic of China, only those who have received a pass will be allowed to enter Kerung. Immigration Officer Bishnu Gharti, informed Republica that the drivers and assistant drivers will be provided with temporary passes valid for a year.
Entrepreneur Buddharaj Basnet stated that the provision of temporary pass for container drivers from all parts of the country will flourish trade and business between the two countries. Krishna Poudel, chief district officer (CDO) of Rasuwa expressed hope that this major step will play a pivotal role in the promotion of Nepal's international trade.
"We made several efforts to make this happen and finally succeeded," said CDO Poudel. Not just the drivers but all residents of 15 districts bordering China will receive a one-year temporary pass to Kerung from the district administration, area administration, and border administration and immigration office. But they must have a valid passport.
Since 2015, altogether 10, 219 locals of Rasuwagadhi have acquired such passes. The number of people going to Kerung for employment has increased significantly with the opening of the Rasuwagadhi border point.