February 24: Ever since the government adopted a policy to discourage the import of vehicles by imposing various measures, customers have started opting for low-cost vehicles for their use.
This is clearly evident from data on import of vehicles in the first seven months of the current fiscal year from Birgunj Customs Point. Although the import of vehicles from the main customs point has increased quantitatively, the money spent on these vehicles has reduced to some extent.
The government has adopted a policy to discourage the import of luxurious goods. Meanwhile, Nepal Rastra Bank last year instructed Banks and Financial Institutions not to provide more than 50 percent loan for the procurement of vehicles. The central bank recently made it mandatory for those interested in obtaining loan for purchase of vehicles to submit tax clearance certificate.
All these measures have significantly reduced the demand for expensive vehicles, according to automobile dealers. They claim that the slump in demand is clearly reflected in import of vehicles.
In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, a total of 10,285 four-wheelers including jeeps, cars and vans were imported from Birgunj Customs Point. The total cost of these vehicles is said to be around Rs 4.78 billion.
Meanwhile, a total of 6374 such vehicles worth Rs 5.37 billion were imported from the same customs point in the corresponding period of last fiscal year.
The price of motorbikes imported from the customs point for personal use has also gone down. During the review period of last fiscal year, a total of 73,788 two-wheelers worth Rs 6.68 billion were imported from Birgunj. In the corresponding period of this year, around 112,000 two-wheelers were brought in but the total cost of such a large number of vehicles stood at Rs 4.26 billion.
The import of expensive vehicles has reduced significantly this year.