Finance Minister Pledges IT-friendly Customs System

Jan 26, Kathmandu: Addressing a program hosted by the Department of Customs here today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Bishnu Prasad Poudel, pledged to promote IT employment in the overall infrastructure of customs administration.

He said customs employees better know about sector-wise challenges and possible ways for solutions. He urged them to perform honestly.  

Calling on the customs staff to deliver without leaving room for public grievances, the Finance Minister drew the attention of the customs administration towards the prompt requirements to promote legal trade and control revenue leakage. 

The Minister took time to say that the government adopted a policy of zero-tolerance against corruption and reflected it in its actions.   He directed employees concerned to mandatorily contribute to checking revenue leakage.

He echoed the need to advance the customs administration by making it paperless, based on cashless transactions, and systematic so that service seekers need not be physically present at the customs offices to take services.

Trade facilitation, revenue collection, and protection of social interests are the major responsibilities of the customs administrations, he said, urging the people concerned to focus on revenue leakage from illegal trade and smuggling of goods.

Only modernization, development, and technology-assisted work system in the administration could reduce trade costs, facilitate trade, and control revenue leakage, he viewed.

Secretary of the Finance Ministry Toyam Raya stressed the need for the implementation of strategies and action plans relating to customs reforms and modernization set by the government in various phases. 

He urged the concerned authorities to take responsibility to collect resources required to build the nation by facilitating trade and collecting revenues while abiding by international trade values.

Similarly, revenue secretary Dr. Ram Prasad Ghimire underscored the need for ending shortcomings in the customs administration, increasing surveillance in the vulnerable areas in view of revenue leakage, and taking action against illegal activities.

Director General of the Department of Customs Chakra Bahadur Budha said policies, procedures, and laws made by the government for the institutional reforms in the customs office were being implemented.

The Department would make its overall performance effective, monitor illegal trade, and effectively coordinate with the security agencies for the mobilization of joint patrol teams to control revenue leakages through smuggling, he pledged.