RASUWA, June 10: There has been no syndicate-type operation at the customs point in Rasuwagadhi along the northern border, according to the District Administration Office of Rasuwa.
The office mentioned that its attention was drawn when businesspeople accused the customs office of adopting dial and syndicate systems, organizing a press conference at Reporter’s Club in Kathmandu.
Refuting the claim, Chief District Officer (CDO) Arjun Bhandari told the press at district headquarters Dhunche on Sunday that the customs office had initiated a first-come-first-served system to regulate the operation of truck containers and avoid debates over the formerly practiced queue system.
Bhandari questioned the credibility of the accusations, and said: “There is no syndicate prevailing in the district. The container that enters first, leaves first. How can that be called a syndicate?”
Only a limited number of trucks and containers are permitted to enter China, due to which a significant number of vehicles have to stay at Rasuwagadhi. This has been leading to frequent problems among the traders. About 100 containers have been regularly using this route in recent times.
While 700 containers operate at Rasuwagadhi Customs Point, only 40 vehicles could enter China when the Miteri Bridge was under construction and the route was one-way. The first-come-first-served practice was started when almost 400 trucks started parking at the Nepali border.
The CDO also said that his office was determined to provide public-friendly administrative services, ensure good governance, control smuggling and syndicates, and have zero tolerance on matters of public concern.
Rasuwagadhi Customs Point was declared an international customs point by the Chinese authorities in August 30, 2017, following which there has been a surge in trade activities through the border. While Nepal imports goods ranging from ready-made clothes, apples, and rubber, to electric appliances such as motor batteries and UPS from China, it exports metal statues, wooden products, brooms, bamboo stools, toothpaste, and chocolates among others to the northern neighbor.
Over 250 vehicles ply Rasuwagadhi Customs Point every day since it came into official operation in 2014.