August 5: Traders and businessmen of Raxaul, which lies across the border in India, from Birgunj, are facing a hard time paying their rent and salary to the staffers. Their business have come to a complete halt after the Nepal-India border was closed to control the spread of coronavirus.
India’s Bihar state has currently imposed a lockdown due to surge in Covid-19 cases. The border remained closed even when the state government had lifted the lockdown earlier.
Operator of Jaya Nepal CD Showroom in Raxaul, Bimal Agrawal, informed New Business Age that they have not been able to do any business due to the closure of the international border.
The market of Raxaul is mainly dependent on customers from Nepal. Almost two-thirds of the customers are from Nepal. The businessmen from Raxaul say that they have been bearing huge amount of losses due to the closure of border.
Generally,, customers from Birgunj of Parsa and the nearby rural areas as well as people from Bara, Simara, Jitpur, Makwanpur and Hetauda visit Raxaul for shopping.
“There used to be hundreds of Nepali customers in Raxaul before the lockdown. But the measures to contain coronavirus has had a devastating effect on our business,” said Agrawal.
“Clothes, food items, utensils and electrical goods are mostly purchased by Nepali customers,” said Agrawal.
He added that the businessmen of Bank Road and Lohar Patti have closed their shops after the border was sealed. According to Agrawal, the businessmen were forced to give up their trade after failing to pay the rent and staffers.
“The cost of rent and monthly salary of staffers alone reaches anything between IRs 50,000 to IRs 200,000. But we have not been able to sell goods worth Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 per day,” said Agrawal.