The country's largest customs station, Customs House Chattogram, saw 11.55% growth in revenue collection in August–thanks to doubled fines for duty evasion.
Despite the negative growth in revenue collection in previous months, officials concerned observed the growth achieved during the Covid-19 pandemic as very positive.
The customs house said the tendency for duty evasion declined as it doubled the penalty for duty dodging and quadrupled the fines for other irregularities in import in the current fiscal year. This has positively impacted revenue collection.
According to Customs House Chattogram, revenue collection in August amounted to Tk3,264.86 crore while the year-on-year collection was Tk2,926.91 crore. It posted 11.55% positive growth in collection while the growth registered negative 11.57% in last July–the first month of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Md Fakhrul Alam, commissioner of Customs House Chattogram, said they have doubled and quadrupled the fines from the current fiscal year in cases where false information is found in import documents.
"As a result, the level of irregularities dropped in July and August–as compared to the same period of the last fiscal year. This has had an impact on revenue collection. And we achieved the positive growth in revenue collection in August," he added.
The customs commissioner further said that Customs House Chattogram has always been cooperating with honest businessmen. Revenue collection would increase further in future as they take up various initiatives to prevent duty dodging.
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Mahbubul Alam praised the achievement and said growth in revenue would help strengthen the country's economy.
He said, "We hope the businessmen will do business honestly. I appreciate the raised penalty for duty dodging. We all should do business maintaining ethics and showing respect for customs regulations."
According to the customs house's data, the revenue collection target has been set at Tk65433.70 crore for the current 2020-21 fiscal year.
Last year's collection stood at Tk41,853.86 crore against the revised target of Tk58,298.05 crore. Chattogram Custom House's revenue collection posted 3.96% negative growth in the 2019-20 fiscal year.