March 11: The revenue collection from Biratnagar Customs Office has been hit hard by the reduction in import from China following the deadly coronavirus outbreak in mainland China since the last two months.
The customs office had collected revenue of Rs 3.7 billion as of mid-February last year. But the revenue collection has reduced to Rs 1.78 billion so far this year. It means that the revenue collection this year is less by Rs 1.92 billion compared to last year.
According to spokesperson of the customs office, Gopi Upreti, the import of goods has been reduced by 31 percent.
During the review period of last year, goods worth Rs 12.39 billion were imported from the customs point. This year, the import has slumped to Rs 8.55 billion.
Mostly goods like toys, steel utensils, shoes, clothes, apples, electronic appliances, machinery parts among others are imported to Nepal from China via Biratnagar Customs Office.
Vice President of Morang Industrial Association Pradeep Muraraka says that Nepal’s economy will face grave consequences if the effects of coronavirus prolong.
The reduction in import from China is the first sign of economic crisis in Nepal, according to Muraraka.
“The government should take proper measures on time to minimize the impacts of coronavirus on Nepal’s economy,” he said.
He warned that lack of timely action by the government will create acute shortage of food, clothes and electrical appliances in Nepal.