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Birgunj customs revenue collection exceeds target

Parsa, November 18, 2016: Birgunj Customs Office’s revenue collection exceeded target by 6 percent for the period between mid-October and mid-November, thanks to increased imports of automobiles and petroleum products.

The office collected revenue of Rs9.63 billion against the target of Rs9.07 billion.

Mohan Bhatta, information officer at the customs office, said soaring imports of vehicles and petroleum products contributed to the jump in customs revenues.

“Besides, the customs point has witnessed an improvement in imports of industrial raw materials and daily essential commodities,” he said.

At the end of the fourth month of the fiscal year, the customs office’s revenue collection has reached Rs36.36 billion, which is 6 percent higher than the

target Rs34.37 billion for the first trimester.

The collection target for this fiscal year for the customs office stands at Rs100.07 billion. “Based on the current trend, we can easily meet the target,” said Bhatta.

Last fiscal year, the office had collected Rs14.22 billion in revenues against the target of Rs31.14 billion as cross-border movement of goods had been virtually blocked due to Indian embargo.

Birgunj lost its shine following the protests launched by Madhes-based parties and the Indian embargo, leading traders to look for more convenient alternative routes to transport their goods.

As a result, Bhairahawa customs point had knocked Birgunj out of the top spot as the largest import gateway last fiscal year 2015-16 as more imported goods poured into the country through Bhairahawa than Birgunj.

Sirsiya Dry Port in Birgunj, however, fell short of its revenue collection target. The dry port, or the inland container depot, collected Rs1.56 billion, or 76.07 percent, against the target of Rs2.06 billion in the period between mid-October and mid-November.

Terming the target ambitious, Surya Sedhai, chief of the dry port, said: “Cargo consignments had dropped due to traffic congestion at India’s Kolkata port,” he said, adding the festival season had also affected the collection.

In the first three months of the current fiscal year, the dry port had collected Rs6.99 billion, which is 98.03 percent of the target of Rs7.13 billion for the period.

By Shankar Acharya