December 3: The number of cargo containers arriving in Nepal from third countries has been declining, according to the latest data.
It has been found that the cargo containers entering Nepal from third countries via Indian ports have reduced in the eight months of the current fiscal year 2020/21.
According to the Kolkata-based Nepal Transit and Warehousing Company Limited (NTWC), cargo entering Nepal from Kolkata between April to November 2020 has declined by 20 percent.
As of November-end of current fiscal year, a total of 55,664 containers left for Nepal from Indian ports, informed Laxman Khadka, chief of NTWC.
Among them, 34,017 containers arrived in Nepal from Kolkata while 21,647 arrived from Visakhapatnam.
During the corresponding period of last fiscal year 2019/20, a total of 69,945 such containers had entered Nepal via India.
Although the government has lifted lockdown and prohibitory order, the impact of coronavirus on foreign trade is yet to recede. Although Nepal’s bilateral trade with India has improved in the recent months, it is evident from the figures that the country’s overall foreign trade has been declining.
The country’s economy is crawling back to pre-Covid-19 situation after the government lifted most of the restrictions since around two months ago. There has been some improvement in production after the market started reopening.
However, stakeholders believe that it will take almost one year for the economy to return to the previous level.
Babulal Chachan, chairman of Chachan Group, says that the countries industries were operating at 15 to 20 percent capacity during the lockdown period which was imposed on March 24.
The impact of the lockdown is now visible in the country’s foreign trade, says industrialist Pradeep Kedia.
Industrialists and entrepreneurs are of the view that the country’s economy will not return to normalcy as long as the fear of coronavirus persists.
Industrialist Rajesh Kyal says that they are fearful of another lockdown at a time when the industries are picking up pace because there has been a rise in infection in the country.
“We are still fearful of another round of lockdown. Therefore, the industries are not able to operate in full capacity,” said Kyal