Print Edition - 2018-04-23 | MONEY
Nepal seeks one-day pass to visit Kerung
- travel permit
Nepali traders have to regularly visit Kerung, from where goods bound for Nepal make a final departure
Apr 23, 2018-Nepal has once again requested the Chinese authorities to provide one-day general pass and business pass to Nepali citizens who intend to visit Kerung for trade and other purposes.
The request was made during a meeting called by Nepal’s Consul General’s Office in Lhasa on Friday, which was attended by high-ranking officials of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, security agencies, and customs, immigration and quarantine offices, according to Chomendra Neupane, chief district officer of Rasuwa.“The Chinese side said Nepal should raise this issue during talks between central governments of both the countries,” Neupane said.
Currently, Chinese authorities provide one-day passes exclusively to residents of Rasuwa district. This has prevented Nepali citizens of other districts from travelling to Kerung, located at a distance of about 25 km from Nepal-China border point. This has affected cross-border trade.
Nepali traders have to regularly visit Kerung, from where goods bound for Nepal make a final departure. Today, even drivers from outside Rasuwa are not allowed to drive vehicles to Kerung. Traders say it is not possible to check the condition of the Nepal-bound goods due to the barrier. After Nepal-China border point at Tatopani was shut down following devastating April 2015 earthquake, Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point has become the only gateway for land trade with China.
The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point formally came into operation in November, 2014. China declared this border point an international border point in August 2017. Since then it has been witnessing increased movement of goods, with around 300 containers passing through the border post every day. Nepali traders say Nepal-China land trade would get a major boost if cross-border movement of people is eased. Lately, Nepali authorities have been requesting the Chinese authorities to allow as many Nepali cargo trucks to travel to Kerung. “Kerung has ample vehicle parking space, but that is not the case in Nepal. As a result, there is gridlock at the border point most of the time,” said Deputy Superintendant of Police Sharat Kumar Thapa. “If Chinese authorities allow as many Nepali trucks to travel to Kerung, it will be easier for us to manage vehicle traffic at the border point.”
The Chinese side, according to Thapa, has responded positively to this request. “The Chinese side has also agreed to provide reports about cases of road accidents involving Nepali vehicles in the Chinese territory to vehicle owners,” said Thapa. The Chinese authorities have also agreed to make it mandatory for vehicles transporting fresh vegetables and fruits to Nepal to furnish quarantine certificates and expedite customs clearance of goods, such as apples, with short shelf life.
Nepali officials also requested Chinese officials to recognise quarantine certificates issued by Nepal and facilitate movement of agricultural products exported from the country.
Published: 23-04-2018 07:17