KATHMANDU, Nov 19: The government collected only half of the targeted revenue from foreign trade in the past one month, mainly due to the fall in imports along with a surge in smuggling through the open border with India.
The records with the Department of Customs (DoC) show that only Rs 27.56 billion was collected in the customs revenue against the target of Rs 52.24 billion for one month during mid-October and mid-November. The revenue collection accounts for only 53.34 percent of the targeted amount.
Out of the total amount, the DoC collected Rs 12.38 billion in customs duty against the target of Rs 25.91 billion. Similarly, the department collected only Rs 12.18 billion through Value Added Tax (VAT), while the target was set at Rs 19.80 billion under the subhead.
The excise duty yielded the government with revenue of Rs 2.21 billion, less than half of the target of Rs 5.02 billion. While the government had set a target to collect Rs 1.05 billion under the heading of road maintenance fee, only Rs 410 million was achieved during the review period.
The drop in customs revenue collection was attributed to a heavy decline in imports of petroleum products last month. “The wrongly set target for the month of major festivals, decline in imports and the government authority failing to check illegal imports through open Nepal-India border could also have affected the revenue collection from the cross-border trade,” said a DoC official.
The DoC was given a target to collect revenue of Rs 197 billion for the first four months of the current fiscal year that ended on Thursday. However, it succeeded to collect only Rs 136 billion, which is only 69 percent of the targeted amount.
Meanwhile, the government collected revenue worth Rs 1.35 billion from land transactions last month. The Land Revenue Office in Lagankhel, Lalitpur, accounted for the highest land revenue collection worth Rs 189.4 million. In terms of the number of land transactions, the Land Revenue Office of Inaruwa held the highest frequency.