Kathmandu [Nepal]: The undeclared blockade of land-locked Nepal is adversely affecting the country’s economy as entrepreneurs are incurring losses of millions.
China closed its border with Nepal unilaterally under the pretext of COVID-19. Despite Nepali entrepreneurs’ request to open the border, China has continued to impose an undeclared blockade on Nepal by obstructing the import of goods at the Tatopani and Kerrung checkpoints, reported Khabarhub.
According to businessmen, China has still yet to allow Nepali trucks like before from the Tatopani and Kerung checkpoints by making various excuses.
According to Ashok Kumar Shrestha, president of the Nepal Himalayan Cross-Border Chamber of Commerce, the season for uninterrupted import of goods from both Tatopani and Kerung borders is over because, during monsoon, the border points are often obstructed due to floods and landslides.
As a result, quite a lot number of containers carrying goods procured by Nepali traders after opening tens of millions of LCs have been stopped for months in different cities of China.
Silk Transport, which has been importing goods at Tatopani alone since 2019, and has been entrusted with the task of bringing chemical fertilizer to the Nepali market, has not been able to bring fertilizer as per the agreement because of China’s obstruction, reported Khabarhub.
“Chinese officials have been reluctant to talk to our government, and the initiative taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not been effective,” Shrestha said.
Nepali Congress (NC) leader Mohan Bahadur Basnet, said that he met the Prime Minister and the Home Minister several times urging them to hold talks with the Chinese side to ease the border issue.
At present, the dollar reserves in the country have declined. Nepali businessmen have opened LCs worth millions of dollars and ordered goods.
But, it takes months for the goods to arrive. This is having a negative effect on the country’s economy.
Basnet said that even the chemical fertilizers have been stopped in the Tatopani customs point, adding that farmers in Nepal are suffering due to a lack of fertilizers.
According to the Nepal Himalayan Cross-Border Chamber of Commerce, quite a significant number of traders have started doing business through the Indian port of Calcutta after Chinese authorities started surveillance at the border with Nepal, reported Khabarhub.
Nepali businessmen have been demanding to make transactions through Nepal-China customs checkpoints easier. However, Chinese officials have not been positive. As a result, it is having a negative impact on Nepal’s economy, which is becoming extremely sluggish.