Loaded containers are parked at the yard of Rasuwagadhi Custom Office. Photo: Republica
Traders worry shortage of Chinese goods during festive season
RASUWA, Sept 22: Due to shortage of containers in Kerung of China, traders are facing problem to import their goods and commodities from the northern neighbor. The shortage of containers to transport goods from China has led to a stockpiling of huge amount of goods inside godowns in Kerung in the eve of Dashain festivals.
Traders worry that if those goods are not transported immediately, there could be a shortage of items like readymade garments, electronic items and dry fruits, among others, in the market during the festival season.
Nearly 35 percent of goods are stored in godowns of Kerung that need to be transported to Nepal.
Due to closure of roads in the Nepali side that connect to the northern custom, many containers have got stuck in Nepal, causing a shortage of containers to transport goods from China. Most of the containers which had come to Nepal have got stuck in Rasuwa due to landslides along the road.
Traders say that they have been facing problems to ferry goods to Nepal in the eve of Dashain festival due to shortage of containers.
“The goods that were brought for the Dashain festival has been kept in godowns,” said Purushottam Paudel, a trader. “If we cannot have containers immediately to transport those goods, it will be difficult to supply them in the market before Dashain,” he added.
Traders say that there is not any truck in Kerung to transport those goods. According to Paudel, it has been more than eight days that they have been facing a shortage of containers. “Due to the shortage of trucks, those Nepalis working in Kerung are also returning home,” he said, adding that they will return to Kerung only after the roads open.
Traders have only ten days now to clear their goods from the godowns as there will a week-long holiday there after that. As there will be government holiday from October 1 to 7, Nepalis working in Kerung will start to return home from October 1.
Punya Bikram Khadka, the chief of the Rasuwgadhi Custom Office, said that six trucks have been sealed in Kerung on Friday.
“We have received information that there is not any truck in Kerung. But, 25 trucks are heading to Kerung on Friday,” he said.
However, those trucks are going to Kerung to haul other items rather than bring the goods stored in godowns. Some of those trucks are also heading to Kerung to bring stuffs of Nepal Army.
The revenue target of the custom office is also likely to suffer due to halt in the import. The custom office has a target to collect Rs 1.4 billion in revenue in the month of Asoj (mid-September to mid-October). It has collected a total of Rs 160 million as of Friday.
Chief custom officer Khadka, however, told Republica that they will be able to meet the revenue target. He said that there are 400 trucks in the custom yard which will help in meeting the revenue target.
There are nearly 900 containers that are in operation at Rasuwagadhi custom point. If the stranded goods are perishable rather than readymade items, it looks difficult to meet the revenue target, according to traders.