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Govt launches customs reform and modernisation plan



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By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Aug. 18: The Ministry of Finance has made public the Sixth Customs Reform and Modernization Plan.
Finance Minister Janardan Sharma unveiled the reform plan at a function held at the MoF on Tuesday. He also launched the annual report and recommendations of the Nepal Revenue Advisory Board (NRAB).
Five different achievements have been projected in the pan. Trade facilitation, realistic revenue collection, protection and security of society, automated customs system and organisational development and capacity building are the targets of the plan.

The document includes a plan to make the export-import process timely, cost effective and predictable to facilitate the traders. Realistic revenue collection will be increased by modifying and enforcing the customs law.
Similarly, under the protection and security of the society, measures will be taken to monitor and control the transportation of goods, and means and equipment of transportation to prevent illegal trade and movement of harmful goods in the country.

Likewise, all the procedures of customs clearance will be automated. The ‘Nepal Customs Automation System’ will be implemented in 29 customs offices across the country, Ministry of Finance informed in a statement.
The plan has a goal to increase the competitiveness of the customs administration under organizational development and capacity building. The plan aims to increase organizational capacity to implement modern customs standards.

The Customs Reform Plan expects to achieve 15 results including trade facilitation, coordinated border management, voluntary compliance, effective screening, development and expansion of national one-door system, improvement of physical infrastructure, strengthening of managerial capacity, national security, public health, economy, protection of intellectual property, and protection of environment and society.
Similarly, the plan expects coordination and communication among stakeholders, robust risk management, realistic revenue collection, expansion of automated systems, management of foreign trade data, promotion of ethics and good governance, and integrated implementation of policies and procedures for social security.

The customs administration has been implementing customs
reform action plan since 2003. The Fifth Customs Action Plan was completed in July, 2021.
The NRAB has submitted its first annual report to FM Sharma on the occasion of one year of its formation. The board has also published a book containing various suggestions related to revenue submitted to the government in the last 13 years.

Speaking on the occasion, FM Sharma said that the success would be achieved only if the service recipients were satisfied and the reform plan achieved the expected target.
He mentioned that the new plan would play an important role in making the customs administration transparent and simple.
Minister Sharma has said that he will pay attention to the policy and legal reform plan as it would be instrumental for the overall reform initiative. He said that the suggestions given by the Revenue Advisory Committee would serve as important reference material for future policy making.

Speaking on the occasion, Finance Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini said that the issues included in the customs reform plan were the personal performance commitments of every employee working in the customs sector.
On the occasion, Director General of the Customs Department Yamlal Bhusal and Chairman of the Nepal Revenue Advisory Board Mahesh Prasad Dahal had given a brief presentation on the topic.