KATHMANDU, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — Nepal introduced a token system for Nepalese cargo containers entering the bordering Kerung (Geelong port) of China through Rasuwagadhi of Nepal, the only operating international border point between two countries.
“As per the understanding with Chinese side, we have implemented the token system starting from Saturday. Under the system, only 50 containers can enter the Chinese territory at once for importing goods from China,” said Krishna Prasad Adhikari, chief district officer of bordering Rasuwa district.
“After these containers return back to Nepal, another 50 are given token to enter to China,” said the officer.
According to Adhikari, vehicle movement on the Nepal side of border has been difficult due to parking of hundreds of container trucks on the road, which remained still fragile after deadly earthquake on April 25, 2015.
As a result of jamming of the road, a few hydropower projects being developed near the border points are finding it hard to transport necessary construction materials, according to Nepalese officials.
As the traditionally main trade route — Tatopani-Khasa (Zhangmu) route — has remained closed since the last year’s quake, the traders have started shift to Rasuwagadhi border for export and import purposes.
The new route was formally opened for international trade only in December 2014.
According to Adhikari, the new system will ease the movement of vehicles across the border with they should not have to go through jammed road.
But, the Nepalese officials also fear whether entry and exit of 50 containers would be enough for growing trade through this route.
“Currently, around 200 containers are returning at once from China bringing goods,” Kedar Paneru, chief customs officer at Rasuwa district, told Xinhua on Sunday.
According to him, the shipment of containers is taking place twice a week currently. “If it takes place twice a week with 50 containers at a time instead of most of the days in a week, will be creates a big problem in bilateral trade and revenue collection of Nepal government,” said Paneru.
Although the Nepalese traders have been increasingly using the Rasuagadhi-Kerung trade route after the closure of Tatopani-Khasa route, the new route has not been as busy as the old one.
Currently, most of the imported goods from China come through the sea route via India’s Kolkata port, according to traders.