My Republica, November 12, 2019
KATHMANDU, The Department of Revenue Investigation has incorporated 49,000 traders in the vehicle and consignment tracking system (VCTS) for cargo trucks and containers by October end.
The government has launched the web-based system to keep track of the whereabouts of the cargo carrying containers and trucks since mid-July this year. The system is expected to minimize the possible revenue leakages via smuggling of goods.
The department in the last fiscal year had investigated 81 tax fraud cases and filed cases against 238 individuals on the charge of tax evasion in various district courts. It sought Rs 18.32 billion in fines and amount in question plus up to three years' imprisonment against those involved in the revenue fraud. The government targeting to check such incidents has enforced the VCTS.
According to the department officials, the system has brought in a total of 1.1 million cargo vehicles under VCTS during the review period. “The department held goods worth Rs 10 million which the traders were delivering not abiding the law,” said a department official on condition of anonymity.
Under the system, traders need to submit details about the goods they are shipping from one place to another. According to the department, the traders need to provide details of the customs declaration, types of goods and their respective quantities, registration numbers of the vehicles carrying the cargo and the profiles of the drivers online.
The paperless system is expected to help even traders to reduce the cost of trading besides making the tracking system more effective. It also allows tax officials to check the vehicles transporting the traded goods at any location in case any misconduct is suspected.
The department said it has increased its vigilance to bring in more number of traders in the system after the end of the first quarter. “We have increased number of check points to track the traders flouting the government rules,” said Rajiv Pokharel, director at the department looking after the tracking system.
Though the department enforced the system with the start of this fiscal year, it had adopted lenient policy following protests from the private sector. A number of umbrella organizations of private businesses had pressurized the tax authority to extend the timeline of tracking system till next fiscal year.
Pokharel said the department has been conducting sessions to educate the traders for the use of online platform. According to him, they have even made the contravening traders to submit their details on spot at the check points.
Meanwhile, the government is integrating the VCTS with the ASYCUDA World, the computerized customs management system which has been in effect at major customs offices including Birgunj, Mechi, Bhairahawa, and Tribhuvan International Airport, among others.
According to the department officials, the work is expected to be over in the next two months. Following the amalgamation of two systems, importers will be able to track customs clearance procedures at various trading points and help carry out related documentation work for the consignment tracking system from single online platform.