‘Govt loses Rs 600 revenue due to Jure landslide’

The government of Nepal has lost Rs 600 revenue due to Jure landslide, say officials at Tatopani Customs Point on Thursday.

They say the August 2 landslide of Jure, Sindhupalchowk has hit revenue collection from the Tatopani Customs Point, through which most of Nepal’s China-made imports enter.

The landslide destroyed about 2.5-km stretch of Araniko Highway, Nepal’s main trade link with China.

Mimansha Adhikari, chief customs officer at Tatopani Customs Point, says the office had set a target of collecting Rs 250 million in the Mid-July through Mid-August period and Rs 680 million in the Mid-August through Mid-September period this year.

Last year, the office collected Rs 550 million in the Mid-September to Mid-October period that precedes the Dashain Festivel, Nepal’s biggest shopping season.

Adhikari says collection after July 17 stood at Rs 160 million until the day before the landslide.

Since Mid-August to Mid-September is close to the Dashain shopping season, the Tatopani Customs Point had been looking to collect Rs 25 million a day, Adhikari says.

But since the diversion or the alternate road is not yet able to allow container-trucks, revenue collection at Tatopani is at a standstill.

“Construction of a new route near the old swept-away section of the highway by the business community dependant on trade with China has been completed. But it will still take a few more days it make the route able to handle heavily-laden container trucks,” says Bishnu Bahadur Khatri, the coordinator of the Road Construction Working Committee for the diversion.

Tatopani Customs Point has the facility for parking 60-70 containers only, even when the new route comes into operation. At present, around 500 on-loaded containers are stranded at the customs point while almost an equal number of containers are yet to be on-loaded. A container carries goods worth around Rs 15 million.

In previous years, revenue collection at the border during pre-Dashain-Tihar festive season was around Rs 25 to 30 million daily and Rs 700 million in total.

Last year, the government collected Rs 6 billion revenue from Tatopani Customs Point alone. But this situation may not remain the same for this year due to the blocked road and difficulties in transportation.

Source: Nepalnews