October 11: Although the government has hiked customs duty with an aim to promote domestic products, the import of goods is still at the increasing trend.
The government in the last four months has increased the customs duty of different products for at least two times. Meanwhile, the trade deficit of the country stood at Rs 217 billion in the first two months of the current fiscal year.
The government had hiked the customs duty of 41 products under the Economic Act. The government also gave the authority to hike customs duty to the customs officers, and increased the duty by up to five percent.
In the first two months of the current fiscal year, the total import of the country stood at Rs 232 billion, while the export stood at Rs 14.70 billion. In the last fiscal year, the total trade deficit stood at Rs 1.1 trillion. The government had hiked the customs duty of sugar and sugar products from 15 percent to 30 percent in a bid to promote the domestic sugar industry.
Likewise, the customs duty of dairy products was also increased to 30 percent from the existing 20 percent. According to Dolindra Prasad Sharma, under-secretary at the customs department of the Ministry of Finance, Chitwan Milk Industry was closed as it couldn’t sell the powdered milk it produced and the farmers also didn’t get the right price for milk.
The government had also hiked the customs dusty of junk foods to 20 percent from 15 percent.