January 22: Birgunj Customs office, Nepal’s one of the major entry points for trade with India and other countries, has failed to collect revenue in accordance with target in the first six months of the current fiscal year.
The Customs office has collected only 62.4 per cent of its total revenue target.
According to the customs office, the Department of Customs had set the target to amass a revenue of Rs 122.77 billion during the first six months of the current fiscal year.
The customs office, however, has collected only Rs 76.54 billion during review period.
Customs officials say that the government’s policy to control the trade following the depletion of foreign exchange reserve had caused the revenue to shrink.
Import of petroleum products and vehicles contributes largely to the revenue from Birgunj Customs office. Ban on the import of vehicles for a long time led to the revenue to drop”, said Birgunj Customs Office Chief Dhan Bahadur Baruwal.
The government that started tightening import of goods from the second quarter of the last fiscal year had imposed ban on the import of vehicles, expensive mobile phones, and liquor from the fourth quarter of the last fiscal.
The government has recently removed the provision of cash margin for opening letter of credit after it removed the ban placed on the import of vehicles and other expensive goods.
Despite the opening of the import, auto importers have not brought vehicles citing lack of demand and banks not providing loan for the same.
Auto importers are hardly importing four to five vehicles these days against 30 to 35 on a daily basis in the past.
“More than 2000 vehicles have gathered at the yard of Integrated Check Post,” according to Nepal Intermodel Transport Development Board Birgunj Office Chief Kamal Gyawali.
Birgunj Customs collected only Rs 26 billion of customs duty against its target of 48 billion. Likewise, the customs point collected Rs 34 billion in value added tax despite its target to collect Rs 44 billion.
The office collected Rs 5 billion of excise duty against its target to collect Rs 12 billion. Customs officials say that ban on the import of vehicles led the office to miss its target.
Birgunj Customs collected infrastructure tax of Rs 6 billion from the petroleum products against its target to collect 9 billion during the same period.