Work honestly, DPM Paudel urges customs officials

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Bishnu Prasad Paudel has urged the employees of the customs administration to work sincerely so as not to let people complain about the services of the customs administration.

“The present government has a policy of zero tolerance against corruption, smuggling and revenue leakage. So, I want to request all employees working in the customs points to work honestly facilitating legal trade and controlling illegal trade and customs leakage,” DPM Paudel said while addressing the programme of the 71st International Customs Day organised by the Department of Customs here on Thursday.

He said that business costs could be reduced, trade could be facilitated and revenue leakage could be controlled only through technology-based system at the customs.

In the first six months of the current fiscal year, the target of revenue collection was not met, and the revenue was 16 per cent less compared to the revenue collected in the corresponding period last year, he said, and urged the department officials to work to meet the target of revenue collection.

“Nobody can escape showing any excuse for reduced revenue mobilisation,” he said.

The statistics showed that the import of some goods, especially sugar has decreased through legal channels but the supply of these goods is still high in the market, he said, adding that it showed that a large quantity of goods is being smuggled into Nepal.

“I also want to request the police administration to coordinate with customs administration to control illegal trade and the practice of evading customs,” he said.

DPM Paudel urged the business entrepreneurs to do business fairly as the government is always ready to support businessmen for fair trade facilitation.

“Private sector should follow tax rules properly. The government is in favour of legal trade and does not want to pester the private sector,” he said.

Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Toyam Raya said that the customs administration was looking for trusted traders.

“The customs administration does not want to open all the goods imported by the traders at customs points. If the businessmen disclose the customs in a fair and transparent manner, the problems seen in the customs will be solved,” he said.

Stating that the private sector has no need to be worried about the revenue target set by the government, he urged the private sector to pay taxes properly and not resort to illegal trade.

Revenue Secretary at the Ministry Dr. Ram Prasad Ghimire said that modern technologies have been adopted to make the customs administration sound and efficient.

President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) Rajendra Malla said that revenue would increase only if the customs administration was improved.

He stressed the need for issuing bills compulsorily while purchasing and selling goods to make the trade transparent.

He said that the revenue target should be met by increasing the scope and not the tax rates.

“Around 45 per cent of industries are still beyond the tax net. So, it is necessary to bring them into the tax net,” he said.

Vice-President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Dinesh Shrestha said that the government should adopt domestic industry tax policies instead of promoting imports to make the country self-reliant.

“Growing illegal trade due to the open border between Nepal and India is affecting the domestic products of Nepal and businessmen are in trouble and the government is losing revenue. So, the government should control illegal trade,” he said.

Director General of the Department of Customs Chakra Bahadur Budha said that the Department was making customs points technology-friendly to facilitate international trade.

The Department of Customs, private sector’s umbrella organization, marked the International Customs Day by organising various programmes for a week. The slogan of the 71st International Customs Day was ‘Nurturing the next generation: Promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and professional pride in customs’.

Source : TRN,