January 23, 2020 10:03 AM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
NEPAGUNJ, Jan 23: According to the Department of Customs, the illegal import of goods is affecting revenue collection at the Nepalgunj Customs Office. But nevertheless, the office is increasing its target of revenue collection this year. According to the officials, the target for revenue collection for Fiscal Year 2019/20 is Rs 15 billion.
In the first six months of the Fiscal Year 2019/20, the office has collected total revenue of Rs 5.93 billion. “We will need to work hard to meet the target this year. We hit the target last year at the end of the fiscal year and we hope to achieve the same this year as well,” said Shanti Ram Niraula, head of the Nepalgunj Customs Office.
According to Niraula, there are some main challenges behind achieving the target. “The first reason is Nepal-India has open border and there is smuggling on import and export of goods and the second reason is problem of physical infrastructure,” said Niraula.
The office has claimed that it has managed to control smuggling on import and export of goods at the border. The government has mobilized the Armed Police Force in various places to control smuggling on import and export of goods from the border. In the customs office, there are 160 Armed Police Force personnel and Nepal Police personnel as well. The Armed Police Force has kept six 'Border Out-Post' (BOP) in the border areas. But the Armed Police Force has not received permission to keep BOP in Khadaicha, Gurdangaudi and Banuwa borders.
The number of BOPs of the Armed Police Force is low compared to Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) of India. India has established SSB camps within the distance of one kilometer across the border to control border crime and smuggling. According to an officer of the Armed Police Force, lack of equipment, resources, geographical remoteness and lack of manpower are some reasons which cause problems in controlling smuggling in the border areas.