MY Republica, May 3, 2022
KATHMANDU, The private sector has urged the government to raise the duty on imported agricultural goods to protect the locally-produced farm products.
Forwarding its suggestion at an interaction on pre-budget discussion organized by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) on Monday, the umbrella organization recommended to the government to impose up to 42 percent of customs duty on imported agricultural products. The FNCCI has underlined that the government can impose the aforementioned rate of customs on agro products as per the provision of the World Trade Organization. The rate of import duty is at maximum of 24 percent on non-agricultural goods.
According to the FNCCI, Nepal imports more than 200 goods in which the country spends more than Rs 1 billion. Most of these goods can be produced in sufficient amounts inside the country.
Currently, Nepal has been struggling to minimize its ballooning import expense that has hit the country’s foreign currency reserves. The Central Bureau of Statistics has estimated that annual imports could reach Rs 2 trillion by the end of this fiscal year while the export will be around Rs 300 billion. The trade deficit amount is likely to surpass the country’s annual budget.