Govt to launch web-based cargo tracking

By Modnath Dhakal

Kathmandu, May 24: The government is launching the web-based ‘vehicle and consignment tracking system’ to keep track of the whereabouts of the cargo carrying containers and trucks from the next fiscal year 2019/20.
The newly created digital system will be interlinked with the ASYCUDA at the Department of Customs (DoC) and affiliated with the computerised system of the Department of Inland Revenue (IRD).
With the implementation of the web-based vehicle tracking system and connection with the customs, inland revenue and revenue investigation departments, every business activity, from importers to the consumers, can be easily tracked which will make the tax-evasion more difficult.
The new computerised system is being developed by the Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI). It will facilitate the transport entrepreneurs, importers and businesses with the real-time update of the vehicular movement about their cargo and consignment.
The DRI said that the tracking system will create greater transparency in import business, check the smuggling of goods and discourage the use of fake bill of the Value Added Tax (VAT).
As the government has already launched the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) in container trucks carrying goods from Kolkata to Birgunj, it will have information of the cargo and consignments from Kolkata port to the godown of the businesspersons.
The piloting of the new system will start next month, said Director General of DG Dirgha Raj Mainali at an interaction with the Nepal Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.
He said that the new system will eliminate the paper-based complex process which is in practice and has a mandatory provision to show the documents at every check point of the revenue investigation on the way.
“The transporters and importers have to submit the copy of the customs clearance and other documents at every revenue investigation check-post and register the vehicle. The web-based system will eliminate this cumbersome process and promote fair business,” said Mainali.
In absence of effective cargo and consignment tracking system, some importers had transported second trip of goods with the same bill after two days and the DRI had to believe that the bill was for the same consignment.
In the last two-three years, the traders used fake VAT bill worth Rs. 8 billion. “When a trader imports goods with under-invoicing or smuggles it to Nepal, the customers do not get the bill of those goods and when asked they are handed over a fake receipt,” said Mainali.
He warned the businesspersons of severe punishment on using fake bill which will be fine of 140 per cent of the amount cheated and jail term of up to two years.
President of NCC Rajesh Kazi Shrestha said that the web-based system could improve the doing business situation with faster movement of the goods and ensure greater transparency.
“But the government must make sure that the private sector is facilitated with the new system,” he said.
In April 2018, the government had launched the ECTS in the container trucks that ferry goods from Kolkata to Birgunj.
According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which supported the new technology, the ECTS uses satellite positioning systems, cellular communications, radio frequency identification, and other web-based software to ensure the security of the cargo.  

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