Entrepreneurs complain of customs’ inefficiency

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 9:

Entrepreneurs here have said that, as per the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and regulations, every nation is supposed to remove customs barriers and make the documentation producers simple to help boost the exports. However, Nepal’s customs administration does not seem to be serious in resolving the problems that has negative impact on foreign trade.

In a recent meeting with civil aviation and airport officials, exporters have strongly raised the issue of simplification of document while exporting goods. Namgyal Lama, president of Nepal Freight Forwarders Association (NEFFA) said, “despite being a WTO member, Nepal has not yet taken any advantage from the global trade body.”

“Even in the European countries, they don’t need document but in Nepal the bureaucratic hassles are more than necessary which is hurting the exports,” he said.

Even the European exporters who used to ask for export licence from Nepali exporters have now stopped asking it and have eased all procedures for export, Lama informed. “As per WTO rule, the documentation procedure has to be removed to help promote exports. Nepali government should take the issue seriously and simplify documentation, as customs is the vital point to boost export even in difficult times, he said. “For the government, the customs has just remained a point to generate ‘money’,” he blamed.

Krishna Hari Baskota, director general of customs department, on the other hand, has also ordered to resolve the problems faced by exporters. But still the traders are facing the problems.

R M Singh, former president of NEFFA suggested the government to enhance coordination among the departments and minimize documentation procedures to enhance export competitiveness. He complained that government talks a lot but does very little to help the entrepreneurs. “The government and its departments should think on how to increase exports,” he suggested.

“And in the present context of conflict, the government and its departments have a major role in facilitating business sector and boost the national coffer. Only talking about revenue generation alone is not enough,” he said.

“We are getting late to move ahead in the context of WTO, therefore, unnecessary laws along with rules and regulations have to be removed as soon as possible and make rest of them WTO compatible,” he suggested.