Four-wheeler imports surge by twofold

- SHANKAR ACHARYA, PARSA

May 28, 2018-

Imports of four-wheeler passenger vehicle (jeep, car, van) through the Birgunj Customs have surged dramatically ahead of the announcement of annual budget for the next fiscal year. Customs officials said importers have rushed to clear the vehicles citing possible rise in customs duty. The budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 is scheduled to be presented on Tuesday.

According to the Birgunj Customs, most of the imported vehicles include high-end four-wheelers. As the government is likely to raise the tax on the luxury cars through the budget announcement, the importers have panicked, say the customs officials.

Birgunj is the shortest trade route to import vehicles from India and third countries. Duty collected on vehicle imports is a major source of income for the government. It accounts around 40 percent of the government revenue.

Customs on car, jeep and van contribute about half of the revenue generated from vehicles. The government collects up to 250 percent import duty on these vehicles.

Birgunj Customs Chief Sewantak Pokharel said that importers have been rushing to clear their stock of imported cars, jeeps and vans since mid-May. According to him, in just two weeks, 1,056 such vehicles have received customs clearance. Similarly, customs has collected revenue of Rs2.20 billion from those imported vehicles.

 On average, around 400-450 vehicles used to be imported a month through this customs point. However, imports has surged by more than two fold in the past two weeks.

Automobile dealers import high-end cars from India and the third countries. Laxmi Intercontinental and CG Group among others are the main importers of luxury cars.  Birgunj Customs typically provides clearance to 30-35 cars daily.

Many Nepali importers follow the practice of holding their shipments instead of clearing them at Birgunj Customs. As a result, the parking yard of the customs often remains full of imported vehicles.

Automobiles dealers importing luxury cars pay the minimum charges for parking facilities as they normally clear customs only after receiving firm orders from buyers.

Apart from Birgunj, importers also hold back large number of consignments at a number of locations such as Kolkata Port and different Nepal-India border points, according to traders.

Published: 28-05-2018 07:34

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