Minister Khatiwada urges traders not to fear Govt Policies

Kathmandu / Jan. 26: Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada Sunday urged the private sector to not fear the government policies as they had been introduced with a good intention of creating an investment friendly environment in the country.

“The legal procedures adopted by the government are meant to take action against the wrongdoers. So, the entrepreneurs who are working honestly need not worry,” he said while addressing the 68th International Customs Day today.

Nepal marked the 68th International Customs Day by organising various programmes. The theme of the 68th International Customs Day is ‘Customs Fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet’.

He said that the anti-money laundering move and revenue investigation were only targeted to the wrongdoers.

Dr. Khatiwada urged the businessmen to do business keeping in mind the interest of human beings and the nation as well.

Nepal’s economy has now moved to the direction of internal production and business from the import-based revenue system, he said.

“The country’s economy will not sustain on the basis of customs revenue. So, the government is working to reform customs administration to create investment-friendly environment and attract investment in the industrial sector,” he said.

The government is imposing tax only on taxable areas, he said, adding that the government would not impose additional tax in unnecessary sectors to only meet the revenue target.

“I am the only finance minister who never fears the revenue target. The government will not punish the private sector over this issue,” he said.

The anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard, amendment to customs acts, infrastructure development, including Integrated Check Point, dry port would make foreign trade competitive, he said.

He said that the Single Window Service System which the Department of Customs plans to launch soon would help ease trade and make the customs administration more effective and transparent.

Finance Secretary Dr. Rajan Khanal said that the steps adopted by the Department of Customs for the reform and modernization of customs administration were positive.

Customs administration is international, not the country’s administration so internal reform in customs is a must, he said.

Revenue Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Sishir Kumar Dhungana said that the customs valuation process was becoming challenging in customs administration.

“The concerned importers and exporters who are responsible to declare customs valuation themselves are also responsible to ease customs valuation,” he said.

Financial Comptroller General Gopinath Mainali said that the country’s customs administration had become private sector-friendly as the reforms were made at par with the international standard.

Director General of Department of Customs Suman Dahal said that the customs administration of the country would be paperless within two years as the department had been embracing modern technologies introduced in the international market.

“We will start the single window service system by making customs administration fully automated,” he said.

President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) Bhawani Rana said that customs administration should be business-friendly instead of being revenue-oriented.

President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries Satish Kumar More and officiating President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) Rajendra Malla urged the government to calculate the reference price in customs valuation in real time.

On the occasion, Finance Minister Khatiwada released Customs Book and mobile app, live revenue dash board.

Similarly, the Department of Customs honoured Finance Secretary Dr. Rajan Khanal and former director general of the Department of Customs Muktiram Poudel recognising their contribution to customs administration reforms.

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