Nepali Traders against India’s ICP operations
The Dollar Business Bureau
Nepali traders have expressed their concern that India’s plan to start operations at the new Integrated Check Post (ICP) on Nepal-India border may hurt their trade through Raxaul-Birgunj customs point.
India has been preparing to begin operations at the Check Post on its side of the Raxaul-Birgunj border in the state of Bihar. However, the infrastructure is yet to be completed on Nepal’s side of the border.
The ICP at India’s side was inaugurated by ICP officials on Friday, the 3rd of June and all services required for the Export and Import such as immigration, customs, quarantine and banks are being established on both sides of the border.
The traders from Nepal voiced their concern that starting the operations at ICP will affect the usual trade via the customs point at Birgunj.
The traders further said that they have to now take a long route to reach ICP for the purpose of customs clearance.
The authorities in India will conduct the clearance related paperwork at the ICP and then send the goods via Birgunj customs.
Both the centers are separated by 13 kilometers. The traders in Nepal said that this will affect the export-import through the Birgunj border.
The ICP at Nepal side is being constructed at Sirsiya which is very near to the ICP in India. Once the ICP at Nepal side is completed, then the Birgunj customs would shift there.
However, about 25 per cent of the ICP’s work on Nepal’s side is yet to be finished.
Pradeep Kediya, President of Birgunj Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) said that Nepal’s commerce will be highly affected once the Indian ICP started its operations.
"The major affect is on importers. Therefore, we request the ICP at India side to not begin operations until the ICP at Nepal side is completed," he added.