Trade activities increase at Rasuwa border point

- Krishna Thapa, Rasuwa

Nov 22, 2015-

Import of Chinese goods through the Rasuwa customs points has increased after China started allowing in containers to ship goods on Tuesday. The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung route was reopened last month since the deadly April 25 earthquake as another main trade route--Tatopani-Khasa--is yet to come into operation.

Around 18 container goods are entering the Nepali territory each day, according to customs officials. The Tatopani route was preferred over Rasuwagadhi for bilateral trade between the two countries before it was severely damaged by the quakes in April and May.

“Items like apple, wool and readymade garments are being cleared at the customs,” said Kedar Paneru, chief of Rasuwa customs office. “If China allows a one-day pass, the flow of goods will be higher,” he said.

The Chinese side had only been supplying petroleum products until last Tuesday. More than 60 trucks carying goods for Nepal have reached Kerung, according to Mukunda Poudel, a local in Rasuwa.

The Rasuwa customs office, which collected a meagre Rs5,000 in tax revenue in the few months since the earthquake, has witnessed a growth due to increased imports. “Now, we are collecting around Rs 1.8–1.9 million each day,” Paneru said.

The Chinese side has only allowed Rasuwa-based container drivers to cross over to the Chinese territory, the border officials said. The containers reach up to Kerung and ship in goods which are available there. The containers are charged between Rs 7,000-15,000 a day.

Traders complain that they are having difficulty bringing in goods due to travel

restrictions imposed on them by China.

“Our goods have been stranded on the Chinese side, but we cannot go there and bring them across to this side,” a trader said, adding that there are around 15-20 traders awaiting for the one-day pass. “It would be much easier if the Chinese side issued the pass,” said Om Prasad Pandey, an official at immigration.

The reopening of the customs point has, however, cheered up the locals in Rasuwa district.

They believe this will increase activities in the region, widening the scope for employment, trade, among others.

Fruits, readymade garments, shoes, toys, cosmetic items, blankets, electronics are among Nepal’s major imports from China.

Items like flour, chilly,

beaten rice, noodles, juice

are major export items. Rasuwa had collected Rs 270 million in customs in the last fiscal year.

Published: 22-11-2015 09:16

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