Vehicle imports through Birgunj down 50 percentVehicle imports through the Birgunj customs point have dropped almost 50 percent as importers rerouted their shipments through Bhairahawa.
Vehicle imports through the Birgunj customs point have dropped almost 50 percent as importers rerouted their shipments through Bhairahawa.
After the border obstruction was lifted on February 5, a total of 573 vehicles worth Rs573 million have been imported through Birgunj as of Sunday. The customs office said it collected Rs801 million in revenue over the period.
According to Lok Raj Pant, a customs official, 395 jeeps, car and van and 140 buses and mini buses were imported over the period under review. “Although the border restrictions have been lifted, vehicle imports have not yet normalised,” he said. “This has affected revenue collection.”
Normally, imports of vehicles and auto parts contribute around 60 percent of the office’s total revenue collection.
According to the Department of Customs, customs offices across the country earned Rs43.61 billion (25 percent of their
total collection) in revenues from the import of vehicles and auto parts in 2014-15. A total of 239,583 new vehicles were registered in fiscal year 2014-15, up 21 percent compared to the previous year. In 2013-14, the number of vehicles stood at 198,343.
According to the department, vehicle imports decreased by 27.7 percent to Rs17.13 billion in the first six months of this fiscal year 2015-16. As a result, Nepal’s total imports plunged by 26.5 percent as the four-and-half-month blockade took its toll.
Petroleum products, traditionally the largest import items, saw the biggest drop in imports—down 58.9 percent to Rs25.38 billion. Fuel imports started to decline since mid-August after Madhes-based political parties imposed banda in the Tarai region.
After India imposed an unofficial embargo from September 22, two days after Nepal promulgated the new Constitution, the imports were curtailed massively.