JANAKPURDHAM: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat today said he was positive to upgrade the Jaleshwor customs office as a main transit for the expansion of trade relations with their countries.
Receiving a memorandum from the Janakpurdham Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kathmandu, the minister inquired about the current situation and preparations for export and import to third countries, and pledged to advance the process to this effect, said the CCI, Janakpurdham President Jitendra Kumar Mahaseth.
On the occasion, the delegation team apprised the minister about the infrastructural preparedness by both Nepal and India on upgrading the customs office, and in response, the minister expressed his commitment to pursuing the matter after holding a discussion with the concerned sector, he said.
“With the finance minister, we discussed on upgrading the customs office, problems facing businesspersons of Madhes and potential benefits from the railway in Janakpur. There is an understanding to discuss the matter by both sides. We hope that he will help in addressing worries and concerns of the private sector and forwarding trade activities in Madhesh,” he said.
Similarly, Manoj Kumar Singh, general secretary of the CCI, Janakpurdham, said the Jaleshwor transit could be the best alternative in the context when the import of goods from third countries is made through the Birgunj transit, which increases the transportation costs due to a long transport distance thus increasing prices of goods in the local market.
“It has to cover 1,119 km in transporting goods from the Haldia port of West Bengal in India to Kathmandu through Birgunj. But when the transport is made through Jaleshwor, the total distance will be reduced by around 250 km. This will also have impact on the prices of goods imported. We have informed in writing the finance minister about the matter. We hope positive decision will take place,” he said.
“As it will significantly reduce prices of goods when importing them from third countries to Kathmandu through the Jaleshwor transit and via Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha, Saptari, Gaighat, Udayapur, Ramechhap, Dolakha, Sindhuli, Kavrepalanchok, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur, we have requested the minister to establish the customs office in Jaleshwor as a main transit to export and import goods from third countries,” read the memo.
Similarly, they drew the attention of the minister to upgrade the Janakpur customs office and Jatahi customs office as maximum benefits could be taken from the railway service in Janakpurdham, said Mahaseth. The Jaleshwor customs office was established in 2013 BS.