Money

Customs revenue jumps on soaring Dashain imports

- BALRAM GHIMIRE, RASUWA

Oct 17, 2018-

The customs office in Rasuwa on the northern border with China collected revenue totalling more than Rs2.30 billion in one month as traders started importing clothes from the northern neighbour for the Dashain festival earlier than usual. Out of the Rs2.89 billion in revenue collected in the first quarter (mid-July to mid-October) of the fiscal year, receipts during the one-month period from mid-September to mid-October alone stood at Rs2.30 billion.

Customs officials said that the strong revenue collection in the last month of the quarter helped them to meet 40 percent of its annual revenue target set by the government. Rasuwa Customs has been given a revenue collection target of Rs7.15 billion for this fiscal year ending mid-July 2019. Imports valued at Rs7.30 billion passed through the customs office in the first quarter. The increased revenue collection has been attributed to a jump in imports from China for the Dashain and Tihar festivals.

“We have been given a target of collecting Rs600 million in the first three months. However, collection exceeded the target more than fourfold,” said Dharma Raj Subedi, information officer at the Rasuwa Customs Office. He said that the significant growth in revenue collection was due to smooth customs clearance as the transportation system was not obstructed by road problems.

The trade point was closed for a month after roads were obstructed by rainfall-induced landslides on July 27. There has been no problem in the transportation system since September, and traders have been able to import goods without difficulty, customs officials said.

A lot of products are imported from Kerung, China targeting the Dashain and Tihar festivals. Key import items from China during the September-October period are readymade garment and fruits. “This Dashain, a huge amount of readymade garments has been imported over the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung trade route,” said Chief Customs Officer Gopal Koirala.

The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point, which was opened in December 2014, is the only route open for trade between Nepal and China after the Great Earthquake in April 2015 severely damaged the Kodari Highway at several places. The Tatopani border point has remained closed since then.

In August last year, the border point was upgraded to an international crossing point with the aim of developing it as a major junction linking China with the whole of South Asia. Since then, imports through the trade point have been increasing gradually. The transit point is a major route for the import of readymade goods from China. Imports of readymade goods were valued at Rs3.13 billion in the first three months of this fiscal year.

Due to a landslide in July, customs revenue collection had plunged by almost half during the period mid-July to mid-August. The customs office collected Rs260.6 million in revenue during the one-month period against the target of Rs500.9 million. During the period mid-August to mid-September, receipts totalled Rs290.16 million against the target of Rs920.2 million.

Published: 17-10-2018 09:10

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