Benapole Customs House could not fulfil the revenue collection target. In the first 10 months (July-April) of the current financial year, the revenue collection has decreased by Tk 17.34 billion (Tk 1,734.65 crore).
The revenue collection target was Tk 51.74b (5 thousand 174 crore 52 lakh). A total of Tk 34.49 billion (3 thousand 449 crore 8 lakh) revenue has been collected.
Revenue collection has fallen short of the target by Tk 17.34 billion (1,734.65 crore) for corona pandemic, customs officials said. Imports of high-duty goods have declined in the last one and a half years due to the pandemic. That is why it is not possible to collect revenue according to the target.
Benapole Customs House has not been able to achieve the target set by the National Board of Revenue for the last few years. There is a deficit in revenue collection every financial year.
In the fiscal year 2018-19, the revenue deficit was Tk 11.45 billion (1,145 crore). In that financial year, the target was given at Tk 51.75 billion (5 thousand 175 crore). On the other hand, Tk 40.4 billion (4,040 crore) was collected.
Benapole is the largest land port in the country. The highest revenue of the government is collected from here through this land port. About 80 per cent of the raw materials of most of the industries and garment units of the country are imported through this port. Exports are half the amount.
Trade with India through Benapole port is worth Tk 400 billion (40,000 crore) per year. Products worth Tk 80 billion (8,000 crore) are exported.
Traders using the port said the coronavirus epidemic has affected revenue collection this time around.
Benapole C&F Association President Mofizur Rahman Sajan said the decline in imports due to corona has also reduced revenue.
As a result, there is a revenue deficit. Besides, this situation has arisen due to lack of development of Benapole port in proportion to the demand and reduction in imports of high tariff goods.
Matiar Rahman, Director, India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said about 80 per cent of the country's land import-export trade is through Benapole port. However, many are losing interest in doing business through Benapole due to lack of desired infrastructural development. As a result, the revenue of the government is not being met. If the quality of the port increases, the revenue collection of the government through Benapole will be doubled.
Benapole Land Port Director (Traffic) Abdul Jalil said in addition to the acquisition of port land, several modern warehouses have been constructed in the port. CC camera work is also going on. High walls have also been constructed to increase the security of the port, he added.
Benapole Customs Commissioner Azizur Rahman said, "Corona's influence in the country has been going on for more than a year and a half. As a result, imports have decreased. Despite the increase in imports in April this year, high tariff products have come down. The revenue is not being collected as per the target. We have already written to the port authorities to increase the infrastructure facilities so that they can increase the legal facilities for traders".
If the parity of the port increases, the import of goods through Benapole will increase. If the corona situation improves, it is possible to meet the revenue collection target.