Tamabil land port in Sylhet could not reach its revenue target in 2020 as export-import activities at the port remained closed for over three months as part of the measures to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Revenue income of the port was Tk1.5 crore less than that of the previous year.
The port authorities said import increased during the last quarter of the year. If the trend continues, revenue collection would cross the target in 2021.
Usually, coal and stones are mainly imported through the Tamabil land port. But coal import has stopped since long following an order of Indian High Court. Almost nothing is exported through this port.
Traders alleged that although Tamabil was promoted as a land port from a revenue station, facilities of a port are not still available here.
That is why traders are not interested to import and export through this port, they said.
Tamabil revenue station at Goainghat upazila in Sylhet was declared as a land port in 2002. After 15 years, the land port was inaugurated officially in 2017.
The port authorities said in 2019, 20,36,656 tonnes of products were imported through the port, generating Tk16.17 crore revenue. In 2020, the revenue target was Tk20 crore, but Tk14.86 crore was collected against the target.
Sources said port activities were closed for three and a half months due to the pandemic in 2020.
Ruhul Amin, assistant director of Tamabil land port, said mainly stones are now being imported from India through the port. Besides, some oranges are being imported from Bhutan.
He said the revenue collection target was not achieved in 2020 as the port was closed for a long time. However, in the last quarter of the year, import of stone has increased more than the previous year.
If this situation continues this year, the revenue collection will exceed the target.
Importers said the port lacks facilities. The port does not have a space for storing imported goods. As a result, the importers have to arrange the space on their own.
Tamabil Coal and Stone Importers' Association General Secretary Ilias Uddin Lipu said, "When it was a revenue station, some specific items could be imported; now, all kinds of products can be imported. But, the local traders import only coal and stones.