February 19: In the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2020/21, Birgunj customs accounted for Nepal’s foreign trade worth Rs 300 billion. Birgunj customs informed that trade of Rs 2.98 billion has been done through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Birgunj.
Automobiles, petroleum products and industrial raw materials were the major items imported from Birgunj customs point. Nepal Oil Corporation imports more than half of the petroleum product required for the country through this customs point. NOC has imported diesel worth Rs 27 billion, petrol worth Rs 9.86 billion, and LP gas worth Rs 9.29 billion. Meanwhile import of petrol and LP gas has declined compared to last fiscal year.
Ramesh Sukmani, customs officer of Birgunj Customs Point, believes that the import of petroleum product has gone down due to the lockdown in the first two months of the current fiscal year and surplus of power inside the country. In the first few months, import of diesel had also declined but it increased subsequently with the rise in demand.
Four-wheelers worth Rs 3.85 billion have been imported from this customs point. In the corresponding period of last fiscal year, 5,215 four-wheelers were imported into Nepal while the number of vehicles imported this year stands at 3,449. According to the customs office, restriction on import of expensive vehicles in accordance to the new policy has led to the decline in number of vehicles being imported into the country.
Customs Officer Sukmani informed that the overall import from this customs point has declined by 7 percent during the review period compared to the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. However export has increased by 9 percent.
Export of refined soybean oil has increased through this customs point. Altogether 14 industries of Bara- Parsa Corridor have been involved in the export of soybean oil. Besides soybean oil, readymade clothes, shoes, carpet, Ayurvedic medicines, steel utensils among others were the other major items exported through Birgunj.