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.