Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 19:

Customs officials of both Nepal and India have agreed on simplifying Duty Refundable Procedure (DRP) between the two countries. According to concerned Nepali officials, the talks would concentrate on finding ways to ease the return of excise duty paid on goods exported to Nepal. The three-day long customs director general-level talks between Department of Customs and Directorate General of Inspection, Customs and Central Excise (DGICCE), India got underway yesterday in Kathmandu. "We are hopeful that the three-day long talks will prove fruitful in solving the long-running problems hindering the timely and smooth return of duties," said the official.

Krishna Hari Baskota, director general at the Nepali customs department is leading the Nepali delegation while the Indian side is being led by T R Rustogi, director general at Directorate General of Inspection, Customs and Central Excise. "As per the understanding reached in previous meetings, India had expressed its commitment to adopt a more scientific duty refund process," said the Nepali official, adding that both parties have come up with their proposal on swift refunding procedures. As per the Nepal-India Trade Treaty-1996, India charges 16 per cent excise duty on goods exported to Nepal and later refunds through government channels. The protocol-3 of renewed treaty says India can impose excise duty on Nepal bound goods manufactured in India.

Nepal has already received Rs 2.53 billion under Duty Refundable Procedure during the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, 26 per cent more than the target for this fiscal year. The government had earlier aimed to collect Rs 1.21 billion under Duty Refundable Procedure from India. Besides making the duty refund process simple, accessible, reliable and quick, both the delegation also agreed on adopting a new scientific measure. Nepal has proposed to refund the duty on monthly basis without complications. The meeting also reviewed the progresses and implementation of earlier understandings reached in the last four meetings at the director general level. Leaders of both the delegation are expected to sign a letter of understanding (minute) on Sunday on the understandings reached during the meeting.