Revenue collection affected in absence of quarantine

Published On: February 20, 2020 11:21 AM NPT By: Yogesh Rawal

TIKAPUR, Feb 20: Prakash Timilsina, operator of Mahalaxmi Agro situated in Tikapur Municipality-1 was happy from the government's decision taken one and half years ago to announce Satti Chhoti Customs Office as the main custom point in the region.

He was happy that he could get vegetables imported from India directly from the main customs of Khakraula rather than conduct business 125 kilometers away in Trinagar Customs, Dhangadhi. 

“We could bring vegetables from straight road rather than in a roundabout way,” said Timilsina, “Due to easier access, the price of vegetables was cheaper than recent price.”

The government had announced to implement Satti Chhoti Customs Office as the main customs from July, 2018. This decision of the government had not only made the traders happy but locals were also happy due to easy access. But traders are now disheartened due to the lack of management of quarantine on import of agriculture, animals and grains.

The government had provided the facility of quarantine at the Chhoti Customs Office but that office was displaced in 1999. After that, the local business community had demanded the customs office resume operation but concerned agencies have not shown any interest till today. 

“We have asked for the facility of quarantine from government delegates several times. Till now we only have received assurances,” said Ram Bahadur Bhandari, chairperson of Tikapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, “There is a different perception of government toward us.”

Due to the lack of quarantine facility, the customs office is facing problem in collecting revenue. According to the Customs Office, there is less possibility to complete the target of revenue collection. The customs office has set the target to collect Rs 72.9 million in the current fiscal year – FY2019/20. “Target cannot be achieved in absence of quarantine facility,” said Chandra Dhakal, head of customs office, “Quarantine is most important for customs.”

Dhakal informed that he has sent a letter to the department for establishment of quarantine facility. The Department of Customs is also taking the initiative for establishment of quarantine facility to the concerned ministry. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, they could not forward solid steps for the establishment of quarantine facility.

Currently, clothes, hardware and machinery parts are imported from the main customs. Products of agriculture, animal and grains are smuggled due to which it is affecting the collection of revenue and farmers are compelled to take such risk. Satti Customs Office is near to Delhi, Lucknow and Kanpur which will help in importing products for various districts of Sudurpashchim province, Karnali province and Province 5.

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