August 12: Although the government has adopted various measures and tactics to reduce the cost of overseas trade of Nepal, the importers have been forced to pay excessive amount in one pretext or the other.
It has been a year and a half since the provision for importers’ representatives (customs house agent) was removed from the Kolkata port for import of goods to Nepal from third countries, but the transshipment cost has instead increased, according to the Nepali importers.
The importers who once complained about the increase in shipping cost due to the involvement of the agents now claim that a cartel of shipping companies has not let the cost decline. A transshipment system has already replaced the agents at the Kolkata port in West Bengal, India.
Ashok Kumar Temani, chairman of the Transport and Transit Committee of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) informed that even though the transshipment system has replaced the agents the transportation cost has increased significantly.
“There is a syndicate due to involvement of limited companies and lack of regulation in transportation. Due to the lack of competition, the shipping companies are charging the transportation cost as per their will,” informed Temani.