Central bank requested not to issue LCs

- Post Report, Kathmandu
As thousands of Nepal-bound consignments have been stuck at Kolkata port, detention charges have risen abnormally

Oct 2, 2015-The Consulate General of Nepal in Kolkata on Wednesday wrote to the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to halt the issuance of letters of credits (LCs) to importers, citing traffic congestion at the Kolkata Port.

As thousands of Nepal-bound consignments have been stuck at the port, detention charges to be paid to shipping agents have risen abnormally, Consular General Chandra Kumar Ghimire told the Post.  “With the excess demurrage charges, prices imported goods are likely to skyrocket even after the situation becomes normal,” he said. “Also, the port authority has started to complain that the port and the warehouse have been overwhelmed by Nepal-bound goods imported from third countries.”

There are 1,100 railway cargos and more than 700 containers to be dispatched to Nepal, according to Ghimire. Also, 46,000 tonnes of fertilisers, 80,000 tonnes of coal, 20,000 tonnes of iron, steel and industrial raw materials have also been stranded in the port yard. Similarly, there are more than 900 containers queued up on the Indian side of the Raxaul-Birgunj border point, over 500 containers at Biratnagar-Jogbani, 350 containers each at Kakadvitta and Bhairahawa points and 300 containers at Nepalgunj customs point, said Ghimire.

Bhisma Raj Dhungana, head of the NRB’s Foreign Exchange Department, said the central bank plans to discourage opening of new LCs. “Although we have not issued an official circular, we have been requesting importers not to open LCs,” he said.

The Kolkata port reportedly requires 300 stand-by containers to offload the consignments daily on an average. “With the Nepal bound goods unable to offload there, it is reported that movement of goods to other places of India has been affected,” he said.

Published: 02-10-2015 08:42

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