Secy: Vizag port will ease third country tradeCommerce Secretary Naindra Prasad Upadhyaya has said Visakhapatnam port will make it easier for Nepali businessmen in trade with countries other than India.
Commerce Secretary Naindra Prasad Upadhyaya has said Visakhapatnam port will make it easier for Nepali businessmen in trade with countries other than India.
India granted Nepal access to the port after the two countries signed a letter of exchange in New Delhi last Saturday during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to the southern neighbour.
Nepali traders, who have so far been using a single port in Kolkata for third country trade, have been complaining about traffic congestion at the port, forced them to pay high demurrage charges.
Upadhyaya, who signed the letter of exchange in India on behalf of the Nepal government, said the new port could help in trade diversification. “Visakhapatnam is a deep sea port where bigger vessels can operate, making possible transportation of bulk cargo,” said Upadhyaya at an interaction organised by Nepal Chamber of Commerce here on Friday. “Transportation of bulk cargo could help reduce cost substantially.”
A separate letter of exchan-ge signed between the two countries has offered Nepal railway transit to the port.
Traders, however, said the government should negotiate with India on logistics costs. RB Rauniyar, director of Himalayan Terminal that operates Sirsiya Dry Port in Birgunj, said issues like trans-shipment, actual quantity of consignments the port could hold and transport charges should be clarified first before using the port for trading.
The traders also demanded the government improve infrastructure in order to reduce delivery cost. They said they were bearing additional costs due to delay in the documentation process. Rauniyar said it takes at least 10-16 days just for acquiring required documents.
As per the traders, banks normally take 10 days to open a letter of credit (LC) and to prepare related documents that are to be approved by the Consular General Office in Kolkata. “It takes an additional 5-6 days just for transferring the documents,” said Rauniyar. “If electronic means can be used for the purpose, it will reduce the transfer days, reducing the costs.”