Kathmandu, September 20
The government and traders have reached an understanding to implement the vehicle and consignment tracking system (VCTS) in a full-fledged manner only from next fiscal year.
A recent meeting between traders and officials of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) have agreed to implement the VCTS on a voluntary basis in the current fiscal year and to make it mandatory in goods trading from the beginning of fiscal 2020-21, informed a source at MoF.
“On the request of traders, including the private sector representing bodies, an understanding has been reached to implement VCTS on a voluntary basis in the ongoing fiscal year,” informed the MoF official seeking anonymity.
Traders and the government have also agreed to form a committee to look into the effectiveness of VCTS in the ongoing fiscal year. “The committee will study on ways to effectively implement the VCTS and practical challenges that could arise during implementation of the system,” said the MoF source.
In a bid to keep track of the whereabouts of cargo ferrying containers and trucks, the government had implemented the web-based VCTS on July 17. The government had implemented this digital tracking system primarily to control revenue leakages as the government can easily trace vehicular and cargo movements and transportation of goods through VCTS.
Though more than 30,000 traders and firms have registered themselves under the VCTS, other traders were against the abrupt implementation of the system citing difficulty in implementing it due to the difficult geography of the country and technical problems related to internet service.
Moreover, industrialists and entrepreneurs across different parts of the country had staged protests citing that abrupt implementation of the VCTS is ‘impractical.’
“The government has shown flexibility in making the VCTS mandatory for traders. Traders and the entire private sector will support the full-fledged implementation of VCTS after its pros and cons along with other technical difficulties are identified and addressed properly,” informed industrialist Kishore Shrestha, who is also a member of the dialogue committee from traders on the VCTS issue.
Meanwhile, Dirgha Raj Mainali, director general at the Department of Revenue Investigation, said that traders were initially unaware about the VCTS mechanism and ways to use it. However, as the government started making the traders aware, a majority of them have now come forward to become a part of this system, he claimed.
A version of this article appears in print on September 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.