Nepal-India trade returns to normal

Kathmandu, July 6

Bilateral trade between India and Nepal, which had plummeted after implementation of goods and services tax (GST) in India on July 1, has returned to normal.

The trade with the southern neighbour had been affected as traders in India were working out the changes in the tax regime. “They were waiting to obtain the GST code and change their book-keeping,” explained Sebantak Pokhrel, chief of Birgunj customs — the major trade point with the southern neighbour.

“The flow of goods was normal today and we met the average revenue collection target.”

Import from India was almost nil, except for petroleum products from a few customs points, in the initial days of implementation of GST.

India had implemented GST on Saturday. However, the Indian exporters were able to get the GST forms and other required documents from the tax office only on Monday due to public holidays, according to traders.

India is the largest trading partner of Nepal, with two-thirds of the country’s trade taking place with the southern neighbour. The country imported goods worth Rs 585.12 billion against export of Rs 39.1 billion in the first 11 months of this fiscal.