December 26 : Shrinking demand and plummeting consumption have adversely affected government’s revenue collection target at Birgunj Customs Office. The customs office collected only half of the targeted revenue in the month of Mangshir.
The customs office had set the target to collect a total of Rs 21. 69 billion from mid-November to mid-December. However, the customs office collected just Rs 10.90 billion in revenue during the same period. The customs office has failed to meet its targeted revenue collection in either month of the first five months of the current fiscal year.
According to Birgunj Customs office Chief Dhan Bahadur Baruwal, the office has collected 47 per cent of revenue under custom tariffs. The customs office collected just Rs 3.81 billion despite the target to amass Rs 8.9 billion customs tariffs.
Similarly, customs office also witnessed fall in revenue collection under Value Added Tax(VAT).
Against its target to collect Rs 7.93 billion under VAT, the custom office collected just Rs 5 billion.
The customs office has collected Rs 63.45 billion revenue in the first fives months of the current fiscal year. “The revenue collection is 36 per cent below the target”, said Baruwal. During the first five months, the custom office should have collected Rs 100 billion in revenue.
The government has removed ban imposed on the import of all kinds of goods. “The provision of cash margin while opening letter of Credit(LC) to import goods has affected revenue collection despite the lifting of the ban”, said customs officials.
Earlier, the government had banned the import of vehicles, liquor and other goods citing depletion of foreign currency reserve. Customs officials say that vehicles and fuel are major sources of government revenue. Ban on the import of vehicles and fall in the import of petroleum products have affected revenue collection.
Private sector says that demand for automobiles has fallen sharply though the government lifted the ban. Falling demand has shrunk the production of goods, causing the industries to trim the import of raw materials.
“Vehicles, petroleum products and raw materials are imported via Birgunj Customs office. Their import has dropped causing the revenue collection to contract”, said Bara Parsa Industry Association’s Vice-president Binay Shah.
Some customs officials are of the opinion that unlawful import of goods has also hit the revenue collection target.Data at the customs office show that import through the customs office decreased by 29 per cent while export trade fell by 68 per cent.
Processed cooking oil was being exported to India. But, after India changed its policy on the import of cooking oil, cooking oil export from Nepal has hit snag, said cooking oil industrialist Suresh Rungata.