The import of various products from India by rail has increased, doubling tax revenues on imported goods at Darshana Land Custom Station in Chuadanga in the 11 months of the current fiscal year compared to the previous year.
Around Tk114.39 crore has been collected so far, whereas this was Tk51.5 crore in fiscal 2019-2020, according to the customs station.
The total of imported goods in fiscal 2020-2021 is more than 17.88 lakh tonnes.
Md Shafayet Hossain, deputy commissioner of Darshana Land Custom Station, said, "Imports declined in fiscal 2019-2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, revenues have already exceeded target and a month is still left in the current fiscal year. It will be possible to make up for last year's deficit and the cost of importing goods by rail is relatively less, where mostly stones are being imported for Padma Bridge."
Imported products first arrive at Darshana International Railway Station by freight trains. After paying duty on the imports at the custom station, traders get release letters for their products.
The goods are then unloaded from the wagons at various points like Darshana International Railway Station, Sirajganj Railway Station, Ullapara Railway Station, Ishwardi Junction, Faridpur Railway Station, Amirabad Railway Station, Madhukhali Railway Station, Sator Station, Kashiani Station, and Noapara Station.
The imported items include goods like stone, wheat, rice, maize, fly ash, and soybean husk. Stones in particular are being regularly imported for construction of the Padma Bridge.
The government also decided to buy 50,000 tons of non-basmati boiled rice from Messrs PK Agri Pvt of India. 24 tons of the rice has been imported and brought by rail.
Freight trains are the first choice for traders to import goods from India since it is is less costly than other modes of transport.
Hafizur Rahman Hapu, C&F agent of Chuadanga, said, "We bring in various products from India by rail, including wheat, husk, and rice. Railway facilities are always very good and we can get our goods released on time."
Mir Md Liaquat Ali, superintendent of Darshana International Railway Station, says rail communication is now better than ever.