Nepal | May 28, 2020

Govt mulls higher import duty on luxury goods

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, June 12

A national work plan recently endorsed by the government to address the ballooning trade deficit of the country has envisioned higher import duty on luxury goods and raising country’s production base.

The work plan states that the government will revise import taxes and excise duty on goods like mobile phones, television sets, gold, biscuits, wires, transformers, furniture, cosmetic items and dried fruits, among others, within six months to one year. Similarly, the government will also set minimum quality standards for all types of imported goods in the country within next two years.

Amid slow trade of Nepali goods with export potential as identified by the Nepal Trade Integrated Strategy (NTIS), the government aims to raise the export of NTIS products like footwear, yarn, carpet and pashmina by 50 per cent within next two years. In a bid to materialise this plan, the national work plan states that the government will prepare profiles of these products and promote them in the international market.

To ensure that Nepali industrial standards get proper recognition in the international market, the government will also sign mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with five major trading partner nations of Nepal, as per the work plan.

Within next two years, the government also plans to promote the production of goods like sugar, cement and pharmaceuticals and substitute their import by up to 80 per cent.

Though the government had made it mandatory for public offices to consume Nepali products over imported products as much as possible years ago, the work plan has acknowledged that the policy has not been implemented properly and that the government will give due priority to implement it within October.

Similarly, the government also plans to set up processing industries across different areas to promote production of export-potential goods, like ginger, cardamom, tea and herbs.

The government has also said that it will prepare province-wise profile of different export-potential products within one year and encourage industries to produce and export such products.

With the intention to promote the export of Nepali gold and silver jewellery, the government plans to start locker facility at customs offices.

Likewise, the government has said it would encourage banks and financial institutions to prioritise providing subsidised loans in the agriculture sector to promote the production of vegetables, milk products, poultry and meat items.

Meanwhile, the work plan also envisions setting up industrial estates across all provinces and operationalising planned special economic zones (SEZs) within next three years.

However, the private sector has said that along with introducing such policies and work plans, the government should focus on their implementation.

“Rather than just setting such targets, the government should adopt and introduce measures to make Nepali goods competitive in the foreign market. High production cost of Nepali goods is the major reason for our goods being unable to compete in the international arena,” said Hari Bhakta Sharma, former president of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI).

A version of this article appears in print on June 13, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

ANFA president's statement draws controversy

KATHMANDU: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President Karma Tsering Sherpa during a video interview said that nationality is weak in the Madhesi community. ANFA President Sherpa, during the interview with Durbin Nepal, made the controversial remark that Madhesi community needed a lesson on n Read More...

350 Nepalis enter through Birgunj border point

BIRGUNJ: As many as 350 Nepali citizens who had been living in quarantine facilities in India have been let into the country through Raxaul-Birgunj border point, on Wednesday. Of the total returnees, 222 were pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi in Jammu Kashmir and had been quarantined in Katra quaran Read More...

Rautahat crosses 100-mark with 35 new COVID-19 cases

RAUTAHAT: The number of COVID-19 positive cases crossed hundred with 35 people testing positive for the infection in Rautahat district, on Wednesday. Among the new cases, eight people have been infected in Gaur Municipality, 16 in Ishanath Municipality, two in Dewahi Gonahi Municipality, two in K Read More...

New Indian roads, air strips sparked border standoff with China, India observers say

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: A Himalayan border standoff between old foes India and China was triggered by India’s construction of roads and air strips in the region as it competes with China's spreading Belt and Road initiative, Indian observers said on Tuesday. Soldiers from both sides have been campe Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 5.6 million, death toll tops 349,500

More than 5.6 million people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus globally and 349,555 have died, a Reuters tally shows. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The Americas have em Read More...

'Maintain sexual and reproductive health services during pandemic'

Previous experience from Ebola epidemic in Liberia has already proven that discontinuing heath services unrelated to epidemic response resulted in more deaths than the epidemic itself. Most of the reproductive health services are time sensitive and further delay or denial in seeking services can inc Read More...

FIR against 20 persons for involvement in killing Dalit youth, friends

JAJARKOT: The families of the victims of Chaurjahari incident have filed a First Incident Report (FIR) against 20 persons for their involvement in the killings of Dalit youth Nawaraj BK and his friends, in District Police Office, Jajarkot on Wednesday. As per the FIR, Chaurjahari Municipality-8 c Read More...