The collection of the revenue at Chattogram Customs House has declined as container handling through Chattogram port has been decreasing continuously for the last three months, media reported s per data revealed by the port authorities.
Speaking to the media, traders said that the economic turmoil triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, dollar crisis and the Russia-Ukraine war has resulted in the fall in export and import volumes.
In August 2022, around 1.15 lakh TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of import containers and 75,697 TEUs of export containers were handled in the port.
In September, the amounts were 1.1 lakh TEUs and 63,803 TEUs respectively.
Compared to August, in September the handling of import containers decreased by 11.68% and the handling of export containers decreased by 16%.
However, in October, the port authority handled 97,538 TEUs of import containers and 59,331 TEUs of export containers, a decline by 4% and 7% respectively compared to September.
Speaking to the media, Anjan Shekhar Das, director of Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the government is discouraging import of luxury goods due to the dollar crisis. Traders are failing to import as they cannot open LCs (letters of credit). The readymade garment sector is also facing a tough time due to the global crisis.
Many RMG entrepreneurs have reduced the volume of raw material imports due to the crisis. As a result, the volume of exports is also decreasing continuously, he added.
He added that the decline of import and export volumes is an ominous signal for the country’s economy and there is no hope of an improvement in the situation until the Russia-Ukraine war ends.
Meanwhile, revenue collection at Chattogram Customs House has also decreased with the decline of export and import of goods.
In July, the custom house collected a revenue of Tk4,781 crore, which increased to Tk5,498 crore in August. However, In the next two months, the amount fell to Tk5,105 crore and Tk4,911 crore, in that order.
Around 98% of containers in the country are transported through Chattogram port.
In 2021-22 FY, 32.55 TEUs of containers were handled through the port.