Kathmandu, Jan 26: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma launched the e-payment system for customs duty amidst an event organized today on the occasion of the 70th International Customs Day.
With the inauguration of this system, traders can now pay customs duty online. Stating that a 'new age' has been started with this, the Finance Minister believed customs clearance can be done from home and it will also facilitate the collection of revenue.
"It will function as an important tool for trade facilitation and saving time of the service-recipients as well as the customs employees. It will also help in improving the performance of the employees working at customs," he said.
The Finance Minister also shared on the occasion that vehicle scanners will be used at the customs checkpoints very soon. He added that the work related to bringing the vehicle scanner as part of the continued improvement of the customs has reached the final stage, stating that the vehicle scanner is also linked to national security and not just for checking goods.
Minister Sharma also spoke of the need of managing international standard quarantine and laboratory at customs points as per the demand of the private sector. He expressed the government's commitment to move forward works to that connection.
The Finance Minister gave assurances that the government will take the suggestions of the private sector as the guideline in making policies and plans.
Stating that the country's foreign currency reserve is under some pressure due to the series of international inflation in recent periods, he said the economy has not crashed.
Finance Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini said only bringing the technology was not enough and it required a skilled workforce, constant practice, and training to operate the technology. He said the private sector which contributed 70 percent to the economy would be benefited from customs reforms.
President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Bishnu Agrawal pointed out the need for reformation in the customs duty evaluation as the adoption of the traditional system in customs evaluation is harming the economy itself due to the incorrect assessment of price.
The International Customs Day is marked on January 26 each year.