Revenue collection at Benapole Custom House fell short of the target by Tk180 crore in 2022-23 following a decline in imports as many traders could not open Letters of Credit (LC) for a shortage of dollars.
Revenue worth Tk5,786 was collected against the target of Tk5,966 crore in 2022-23. The import also decreased by 1,43,921 tonnes compared to 2021-22, according to Benapole Custom House sources.
In the 2022-23 fiscal year, 20,35,499 tonnes of goods were imported, which was 21,79,420 tonnes in 2021-22.
The target of revenue collection in the 2020-21 financial year was Tk6 thousand 244 crore 57 lakh whereas Tk4 thousand 145 crore 14 lakh was collected, a deficit of Tk2 thousand 99 crore 43 lakh.
President of Benapole C&F Agent Association Shamsur Rahman said that the businessmen of India and Bangladesh are more interested in trading with Benapole due to the ease of communication. However, the government has imposed 100% margin conditions on LCs due to the dollar crisis. Banks are also not opening LC due to the dollar crisis. So, imports decreased last year.
Ejaz Uddin Tipu, an importer from Jashore, said, “No bank in Jashore has been opening LC for more than one year. We could not import products as per demand. We are incurring losses in our business.”
Director of India-Bangladesh Land Port Import Export Committee Matiar Rahman hoped that the import will increase once the dollar crisis is over.
Mizanur Rahman, former director of the Jashore Chamber of Commerce, said that thousands of traders involved in imports are in financial distress as banks are not opening LCs. Now the importers are in dire straits. They will be financially crippled if they cannot import goods.
Safayet Hossain, joint commissioner of Benapole Customs House, said, “Our revenue collection growth is 28% though the revenue collection target was not met. There were some holidays in June during Eid, due to which the revenue is slightly less than the target.”