September 29: Revenue collection has had the direct impact of the government's ban on import of luxurious items. The revenue collection for the first two months of the current financial year has been weak due to the ban on the import of items that generate more revenue.
Finance Minister Janardan Sharma increased the revenue target by Rs 190 billion this year compared to last year. Even though the budget has set a target of collecting revenue worth Rs 1240 billion in the current fiscal year, the officials at the revenue department are worried that the government is unlikely to meet the target.
According to a senior official at the Revenue Division of the Ministry of Finance, the revenue collection has been less than the target in the last two months. In first two months of the current fiscal year, the revenue collection target was Rs 75.60 billion, but the collection was Rs 8 billion less than the target. During this period, only Rs 67.91 billion of internal revenue was collected.
Overall, only 90 per cent of the internal revenue target was achieved.
The government's ban on the import of items that generate more revenue has had an impact on revenue collection.
Last May, the government banned the import of 10 luxury goods. Although the ban on the import of 6 of those 10 items was lifted in late August, the ban on the import of cars, jeeps, vans, readymade liquor, smartphones worth more than USD 300, and motorcycles with capacity of more than 150 cc is still in place. It is said that the revenue collected from customs duty is not satisfactory due to the government policy of controlling imports.
Punya Bikram Khadka, director of the Department of Customs, said that revenue collection has been decreasing. According to him, the ban on imports is one reason for the decline in revenue collection, while the decline in the price of fuel in the Indian market is another reason.
"When fuel was expensive in India, Indians from the border areas used to come to Nepal to fill up the fuel, but now it has reduced. We believe that the reduction in fuel consumption in the country has also affected the revenue," Khadka said.