Export sector needs better government support

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 29:

The business community today urged the government to extend support to enhance competitiveness of Nepali exportable products, while adjusting the present custom tariff at par with rates and standards of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It also underlined the need for product diversification and enhancing their competitiveness in order to create a niche or themselves in the global arena. At an interaction organised by Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), traders and businessmen asked the government to make customs checking

procedures prompt and transparent to boost both export and import business. A relative improvement at customs offices have been felt in recent time, but there is still a lot to do at improving the competitiveness of Nepali exports, said Rajesh Kaji Shrestha, president of NCC. He also suggested lowering of customs tariffs which could help in enhancing competitiveness.

Referring to Nepal’s membership to WTO and becoming part of regional free trade pacts like SAFTA and BIMSTEC, Shrestha pointed out the need for timely adjustment in tariffs. Referring to the huge slash on custom duty made by the government of India and classification of goods made in four categories, Shrestha stressed the need of embracing a similar kind of approach so as to compete in the increasingly free market. Krishna Hari Banskota, director general at Department of Customs (DoC), said that the DoC is looking forward to amending recommendations forwarded by the private sector for trade facilitation.

“The revenue collection has grown by Rs 2.12 billion in the first nine months of current fiscal year as compared to that of the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Credit for the result is due to the coordination between the revenue administration and private sector,” said Banskota.The DoC is working to install a cold storage facility at TIA, giving special facilities to the top 10 exporters and decreasing export charges, Banskota added. Dev Raj Pathak, chief at TIA Custom Office urged the private sector to forward suggestions to the DoC for improving services. Namgayal Lama, president of Nepal Freight Forwarders Association, Kiran Sakha, president of Garment Association of Nepal, Suresh Kumar Basnet, general secretary at NCC stressed the on need of simplifying custom documents and slashing custom charges so as to prevent illegal trade.