Following the government’s removal of import restrictions, Nepal’s import costs start to rise in subsequent months

KATHMANDU: Between mid-March and mid-April, Nepal’s spending on imported goods increased noticeably.

The Department of Customs (DoC) estimates that during the review period, the nation spent Rs 143.12 billion on imports. One of the country’s highest monthly expenditures during the review period was on imports.

According to DoC records, import expenditure for this fiscal year was Rs 1.058 trillion as of mid-March and rose to Rs 1.201 trillion by the end of the first nine months in mid-April. Since the government removed import restrictions, the number of imports has begun to rise.

The government lifted a 10-month import restriction on opulent goods in December 2022. The cash margin requirement that importers had to uphold in relation to their letters of credit (LCs) in order to import goods was subsequently removed by Nepal Rastra Bank on January 19.

The government and central bank lifted the restrictions, citing an improvement in the foreign currency reserves that had previously fallen to an extremely low level. However, the government is once more at risk from the soaring imports due to the loss of foreign currency.

The DoC reports that in the period from mid-January to mid-February, imports totaled Rs 126 billion, and in the subsequent month, they reached Rs 139 billion. The nation imported goods totaling Rs 143 billion in the past month alone, an increase of Rs 4 billion from the month before.

The trade deficit for the first nine months of the current fiscal year was Rs 1.083 trillion, down 17.06 percent from the same period the previous fiscal year. While imports fell by 18 point eight percent over the same time period, exports fell by 26 point 34 percent.

Nepal imported petroleum products worth Rs 261 billion during the review period. The nation also imported electrical appliances worth Rs 73.67 billion, vehicles and parts worth Rs 36.44 billion, and iron and steel products worth Rs 100 billion.

Fiscal Nepal |
Thursday April 20, 2023, 11:07:19 AM |

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