KATHMANDU: As the government banned the import of some goods in order to increase the foreign exchange reserves, the customs revenue has decreased. The government banned the import of 10 items from May. Due to the ban, the revenue of the current financial year has decreased by 22 percent compared to the same period of the previous financial year.
According to the data of the Department of Custom, only 60.71 percent of the total target revenue has been raised in three months. According to the department, only Rs 89.42 billion have been collected till October 17, while the revenue collection target is Rs 147.27 billion.
In the same period of last fiscal year, goods worth Rs 314 billion were imported. Currently, only Rs 273 billion have been imported. Punya Bikram Khadka, Director and Information Officer of the customs department, said that due to the import ban imposed on some items for foreign exchange reserves, revenue collection from those items has decreased.
“Compared to the last fiscal year, imports have decreased by 13 percent in July and August,” said Khadka, “In the previous financial year, silver, soybean oil, MS billet, mobiles, jeeps, cars, vans, motorcycles above 150 cc, gold imports have decreased. 6, which has an impact on revenue.’
The annual target of the customs department is to collect revenue of Rs 668 billion rupees. According to this, the target was to collect Rs 134 billion rupees by the end of October. But when October is coming to an end, the department has not been able to meet the target.
So far, the revenue has risen to 89 billion 42 crore rupees. According to the data of the department, the target of revenue collection in July was Rs 39.69 billion rupees, but only 32.32 billion rupees was collected. That is, only 81.10 percent of the target revenue has been collected.
In August, the collection target of 50.58 billion rupees, only 35.23 billion rupees revenue has been collected. Only 69.65 percent of the target revenue has been collected. As October is coming to an end, the revenue collection for this month is disappointing. Only 22 billion rupees have been raised till October 24 out of which 57 billion rupees should be collected. This is 38.59 percent of the target.
“Compared to last fiscal year, the revenue collection has decreased significantly so far,” Khadka said. The decrease in revenue is due to the decrease in imports. The largest contribution to revenue is the import of vehicles. “After banning its import, there has been a lot of reduction in revenue collection,” said Khadka.
Former Finance Secretary Shishir Dhungana said that the revenue has decreased due to the ban on the import of goods such as vehicles and alcohol. Imports increase during festivals, it also increases revenue, he said. He also admitted that the revenue is always increased in August and October and because of the long holidays during this time, the revenue collection is less. He said that there is a need for a serious analysis regarding the low revenue collection.
The government’s target is to raise revenue of Rs 1403 billion rupees in the current fiscal year. Out of this, 45 to 47 percent of the revenue is collected by the customs department,” he said. “If the revenue collection continues to decrease from now on, the situation may become serious later. Why the revenue collection was not done according to the target is a questionable matter. It is important to get the attention of the stakeholders that policy issues should also be reconsidered.
Dhungana said that if there is a decrease in revenue collection, current expenditure, committed expenditure and development projects will also be stopped.
Kamal Prasad Bhattarai, director general of the department, accepted that the revenue was not collected as per the target. “Due to various policy reasons, revenue collection has been affected,” he said, “due to which revenue was not collected as per the target.”