The Nepal-India border point at Birgunj of Parsa. Photo: Ritesh Tripathi/Republica
Achieves only 98 percent of revenue target set by government
BIRGUNJ, July 18: Birgunj Customs Office, the largest customs point of the country, mobilized Rs 161 billion in revenue under different headings in Fiscal Year 2017/18. The revenue figure also includes revenue collected by Dry Port Customs Office.
However, the offices failed to meet the revenue target given by the government for the fiscal year.
While the Birgunj Customs Office collected total revenue of Rs 131 billion, the Dry Port Customs Office mobilized Rs 27.33 billion.
In FY2016/17, Birgunj Custom Office alone had collected Rs 134.39 billion.
“We have achieved 98 percent of the target given by the government. “Motor vehicles, petroleum products and medicines are our major sources of revenue,” Santosh Yadav, the information officer with Birgunj Customs Office.
According to Yadav, around 40 percent of revenue was mobilized from import of motor vehicles, while 15 percent was collected from import of petroleum products. He added that they were yet to collect revenue figures from Integrated Check Post (ICP) which is operating under the Birgunj Custom Office.
The Dry Port Customs Office also missed revenue target for FY2017/18. The office mobilized only Rs 27.33 billion compared to the target of Rs 28.29 billion. According to Dhan Bahadur Baduwal, the information officer for the office, import of iron, motor vehicles and other raw materials, were the major source of revenue in the last fiscal year.
According to traders, revenue mobilization by the Dry Port Customs Office was affected due to implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) by the Indian government. Moreover, the mandatory requirement for Indian traders to produce Bill of Export for Indian traders to export goods to Nepal also created procedural hassles for Nepali importers, Dhruba Sah, an importer, said. “We do not have any objection regarding implementation of Bill of Export. But it has given birth to procedural hassles for imports. It takes five to six days for Indian traders to produce Bill of Export,” he added.
He also said that many traders have shifted to Bhairahawa Customs Office where Bill of Export provision is not implemented yet.
Om Prakash Sharma, president of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the government was not paying any attention to get rid of problems affecting foreign trade via Birgunj Customs Office. “It is becoming difficult for traders to trade via ICP. It is not only making customs process lengthy but also increasing our cost of doing business,” Sharma said, adding that the problem seen in Birgunj Customs Office at present could affect the entire economy in the long run.