Dr Bhattarai’s sermon to be more efficient

Kathmandu, December 23:

Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai directed customs chiefs to work efficiently, honestly and maintain transparency in their works.

He also directed them — during the strategic meeting on revenue collection and controlling smuggling in the finance ministry here yesterday — to bring change in their behaviour to meet the revenue target spelled out in the budget for the fiscal year 2008-09. The customs chiefs also briefed him of their latest situation.

The budget, brought by the first Maoist finance minister, has been blamed for over ambitious target, though in recent months revenue has been exceeding its target. The budget had planned to raise Rs 129.21 billion from the current source of revenue. And the foreign assistance, grant and loan of Rs 120.5 billion. The budget also had estimated the deficit of Rs 41.11 billion and to bridge that deficit the revenue should be increased.

Dr Bhattarai also suggested customs chiefs to focus on proper management of infrastructure. He told them to pay special attention on open border smuggling and check it.

"Though there has been some improvements in services in recent days, there is still more to do to bring positive changes in the customs," said Rameshwor Prasad Khanal, secretary at the ministry, on the occasion said.

Customs chiefs should play a vital role in changing negative image of customs," he said adding that the working procedure needs to be simplified and made people friendly.

"Simplification of working procedures, transparency and maintaining uniformity in the customs are key," Khanal said adding that the ministry is working on it.