• Revenue collection target for Bhadra already met
Kathmandu, September 8 Import of garments and goods used for daily use has surged significantly through Rasuwagadhi Customs Point with the start of the festive season. Garments and electronic goods that are in high demand in the festivals are being imported in larger quantities from China through this customs point into the country since mid-August. As per customs office in Rasuwagadi, currently 70 to 100 containers are clearing customs process in a day, which is almost double the number when compared to the normal period. “With the huge increase in import of garments and other electronic items from China, vehicular movement has doubled,” said Kedar Prasad Paneru, chief of the customs office in Rasuwagadi. After the devastating earthquakes of April and May in 2015, Tatopani Customs has remained closed and trading between Nepal and China has been centred at Rasuwagadi. As per Paneru, movement of Nepali and Chinese traders through the customs point has also gone up since the last few days. With the increasing movement of vehicles and people, the officials have also increased the scrutiny at the customs points and nearby areas. However, he said that it was tough to control smuggling and other illegal activities being carried out at the customs point ‘because we don’t have strong infrastructure and mechanism’. According to Paneru, the Rasuwagadi Customs Office does not even have a single x-ray machine to check the vehicles and bags containing goods. “Security personnel and customs officers are manually checking the bags and goods that are being imported from Chinese cities,” he informed adding customs clearance process has been delayed because the officials have to manually check each vehicle. On a positive note, however, the customs office has already crossed the target of revenue collection of Rs 290 million for the Nepali month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September). Meanwhile, the meeting of revenue leakage control committee held today has decided to write a letter to the Department of Customs for installation of an x-ray machine at the Rasuwagadi Customs Point. The meeting also decided to increase the surveillance of the areas from where smugglers can bring various goods illegally into the country. “We are strictly scrutinising everyone who crosses the border and also constantly improving security provisions along other areas,” Paneru informed.