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Automation at Ghojadanga customs station jeopardises trade at Bhomra

  • Published at 10:04 pm June 19th, 2019
Bhomra land port
4) Satkhira's Bhomra land port experiences plummeting trade between Bhomra and Ghojadanga by 70% in the past few weeks, as newly installed automation system at India's Ghojadanga land customs station fails to perform Dhaka Tribune

The online service (digital system) was introduced at the Indian land port following the direction of Indian customs

The recent activation, and integration of an automation system at India's Ghojadanga land customs station has impacted import and export through Satkhira's Bhomra land port, bringing it to a standstill for the past few weeks.

The online service (digital system) was introduced at the Indian land port following the direction of Indian customs.

Sources said, difficulties accessing the online server, lack of both technical equipment, and experienced technicians have resulted in the plummeting of trade between Bhomra-Ghojadanga by 70% in the past few weeks.

Ever since the automation process was inaugurated, only 50-60 trucks are passing between the two land ports, whereas the number used to be between 300-400 even in May, they added, not only is this affecting port handlers, but also the day labourers, whose livelihoods depend on vibrant trade.

Bhomra duty station was established in 1996. 17 years thereafter,  in 2013 the then-shipping minister Shahjahan Khan inaugurated it as a complete land port, which includes two warehouses, pen yard, weighbridge scale, office building, power house, etc.

The annual revenue target for Bhomra land port was set at Tk1,033 crore by the National Board of Revenue for the current fiscal year.

Arafat Hossain, president of Bhomra C&F Association said accessing the Indian server has become difficult due to lack of skilled, and eligible personnel.

"Not only is this preventing the national exchequer from receiving customs revenue from Bhomra land port, but also affecting businessmen who use the port to import and export their goods," he added.

Md Rezaul Karim, deputy director of Bhomra land port, acknowledged the fiasco, and said the authorities are taking appropriate steps which will rectify the situation very soon.