Birgunj Customs struggling to meet revenue target

- SHANKAR ACHARYA, PARSA

Mar 12, 2016-

Birgunj Customs Office has been struggling to meet its revenue target even after a month since the lifting of border restrictions.Although the collection has increased to some extent amid rising imports of petroleum products and vehicles for the past week, it is still falling short of the target.

Revenue collection for the period between mid-February and mid-March stood at Rs4.63 billion, around 50 percent of the target of Rs9.34 billion. “The month will end after four days, and the collection trend suggests we will miss the target,” said Sewantak Pokhrel, chief of the office.

According to Shyam Babu Patel, central vice president of the Federation of Customs Agents, rerouting of imports, especially new vehicles, to Bhairahawa resulted in the fall in revenue collection at Birgunj. He said importers were still not confident about importing vehicles through the Birgunj point.

According to the customs office, 516 vehicles worth Rs388.3 million were imported between February 5 and March 5. In the same period a year ago, 1,015 vehicles worth Rs782.7 million had been imported through Birgunj.

Petroleum imports too have not increased to pre-blockade levels. The customs point saw fuel imports worth Rs764 million in the period under review, against the imports worth Rs1.11 billion in the same period a year ago.

However, imports of industrial raw materials, cement and edible oil have increased sharply after the border restriction was lifted in the first week of February. Between February 5 and March 5, imports of cement clinkers amounted to Rs516.1 million, against Rs485.8 million recorded in the same period last year. 

Imports of crude soybean oil amounted to Rs894.8 million, against Rs741.2 million last year. Sunflower oil imports stood at Rs689.3 million, up from last year’s Rs389.1 million.

Meanwhile, revenue collection of Sirsiya Dry Port has been encouraging. As of Wednesday, the office has collected Rs 1.40 billion in customs revenue, 88 percent of its target. Devi Prasad Bhandari, chief of the office, said they were poised to meet the target. “We have been collecting Rs56 million every day.”

Published: 12-03-2016 09:39

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