India allows Nepal to use two more customs points for bulk cargo imports

India allows Nepal to use two more customs points for bulk cargo imports

India has allowed Nepal use two more customs points for third country cargo import and relaxed ban on Nepali language newspapers export to India too. At the concluding of the two-day Nepal-India Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) meeting here today, the secretaries also signed 14-point agreement that allowed Nepal to import bulk cargoes from third countries via two more customs points –  Jagbani-Biratnagar and Sunauli-Nautanawa-Bhairawa apart from current Raxual-Birgunj route – export Nepali-language books and newspapers to India, and drive vehicles from third countries by roads from Indian ports. However, a letter of exchange would have to be signed soon in this regard. India has also agreed to revise modalities on transshipment for Nepal-bound goods. India also agreed to provide some 10,000 cows to help Nepal meet milk shortage in the domestic market. The commerce secretary-level meeting today apart from agreeing on further measures to check unauthorised trade, also decided to facilitate exports addressing each others concern on commerce and transit, and resolve quarantine issues on export of agricultural and livestock products soon. "Nepal clarified on many issues of trade, transit and unauthorised trade that have been pending since last two years," said commerce and supplies secretary Madhav Prasad Regmi, after the signing ceremony. We have placed constructive agendas for both the governments to act on, said secretary at the Indian Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry SR Rao, hoping that Nepal’s trade could become more balanced. "India wants to promote Nepal’s exports to India and beyond and find out ways to attract more Indian investment to Nepal," he said, suggesting Nepal to increase domestic manufacturing and promote hydropower to bridge the ballooning trade deficit. Likewise, Nepali commerce secretary will visit India on February 14 to look for an additional Indian port – Vishakhapatnam Port – that Nepal could use to bring in goods from third countries. India has also agreed to resolve issues of rules of origin (RoO), while exporting goods imported from third countries back to those countries. However, the two governments will create an institutional arrangement in January for it. India will also sign a separate mutual recognition agreement on issuance of quarantine certificates while exporting agricultural, livestock and other products from Nepal as it has become a key hurdles to export. Similarly, Nepal also agreed to waive the five per cent Agriculture Reform Fee (ARF) on the imports of Indian farm products at the time Nepal finds suitable. Nepal also convince the Indian delegation, led by Rao, on continuation of customs duty on Indian cement and clinkers import as waiver could hit Nepali cement industry. Both the South Asian neighbours, on the occasion, also discussed on investment promotion and concerns of private sector to boost bi-lateral trade.
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