April 10: It has been one year since the Nepal-India Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Birgunj started operation with the objective of providing integrated service in import and export of goods. However, one third of the business still takes place from the old customs point.
Prime Minister KP OIi and his Indian counterpart had inaugurated the service on April 7, 2018 remotely using a switch in New Delhi. This was expected to help in proper management of foreign trade and also to promote transparency.
During the one year of operation, altogether 207,586 cargo trucks have entered Nepal through the ICP. It was said that the import-export at the old customs point of Birgunj would stop completely once the ICP comes into operation.
However, records show that a total of 65,336 cargo vehicles entered Nepal from the old customs point this year. This accounts for 31 percent of the total import from the ICP as well as Birgunj Customs Point.
Hemendra Mohan Shahi, chief of Nepal Intermodel Transportation Development Committee which operates the ICP, said that transactions at the newly set up infrastructure could not take place as per their expectation.
Shahi said that all the foreign trade could not take place from the ICP due to lack of proper roads.
“There is no problem in the infrastructure of the ICP. But the business is not as expected due to lack or proper road access,” he said.
The road on the Nepali said of the border adjoining the ICP is narrow due to which transportation is difficult, according to Shahi.