First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Vehicles have been piling up at the main Customs point in Birganj after the banks and financial institutions stopped credit investment citing the government’s strict import policy and liquidity.
The government has tightened import of vehicles in an move to ease the foreign reserve pressure.
Since there is no demand for new vehicles in the market, the importers have not even released the vehicles that have entered the customs.
Harihar Paudel, Chief Customs Officer of Birgunj Customs, said that the importers delayed the release of the vehicles because they did not have the money to pay the revenue for the inspection pass of the vehicles imported by opening the Letter of Credit (LC).
Importers informed that more than 1,700 new vehicles were stopped at the Integrated Check Point (ICP) premises. ICP has a parking capacity of up to 400 vehicles. After more than 1,700 vehicles have piled up, the management has become chaotic.
The government has banned the import of vehicles worth more than 50 lakh rupees. The import of vehicles also decreased in the last months of the last financial year due to the tightening of imports.
Banks have almost stopped lending on cars. Importers say that there is no demand in the market due to lack of vehicle loans. It seems that the import of such vehicles from Birganj, the main port of vehicle import, has decreased since last November.
Customs has the data of import decreased every month since November of the last financial year 2021-22 compared to the previous year 2020-21. Last June, only 68 jeeps passed through Birganj Customs. In the previous review month, this number was 487.
The government had started gradually tightening the import from the second quarter of the fiscal year 2021-22. Since then, the data shows that the import of light vehicles has been continuously decreasing. Some importers also rent land in the border Indian city of Raxaul and keep their vehicles.
There is a provision to refund the goods and services tax (GST) of the vehicle imported from India only after submitting proof that it has cleared the Indian customs within 3 months. For GST compliance in India, importers now have to import vehicles in a rush. Importers of vehicles that have come to customs have not passed the inspection.
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