The authorities and businesses connected to the largest land port of the country in Benapole believe they will struggle to achieve their revenue target of Tk 6,028.35 crore for the 2019-20 fiscal without addressing the dire need for developing its infrastructure as soon as possible.
Pointing to an agreement between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal, Motiar Rahman, sub-committee chairman of India-Bangladesh Land Port Import-Export, said these countries have not been able to reap the fruits of the agreement yet due to various shortcomibngs of the port’s infrastructure.Emphasising infrastructure development of the port, Motiar said Bangladesh and India have already taken some joint steps to accelerate trade through the port.
Benapole C&F Agents Association president Mofizur Rahman Sujan said Benapole port is a very prospective one but is dealing with double the load of its capacity, that is only 38,000 MT (metric tonnes).
Hundreds of trucks wait outside the port for days, which damages the goods at the port, Sujan added.
He also said that if the government addresses the issues, soon the port will have the capacity to achieve even double the amount targeted for revenue collection this year.
Md Idris Ali, an importer at Benapole Port, demanded the construction of a laboratory to test goods at Benapole itself, as it takes 15 to 20 days extra for the products to be sent to the capital for testing and then to be brought back from there.
Pradosh Kanti Das, Benapole Port Director (Traffic), said they have started infrastructure development in short range and land acquisition to expand the port area.“We have plans to bring the whole port area under close circuit camera surveillance,” he added.
Sarwar Hossain, Deputy Inspector of Benapole Customs House Statistics Unit, said all the staffs of the customs have been trying hard to achieve the revenue target.
The port collected Tk 4,040 crore revenue against a target of Tk 5,443 crore in 2018-19 FY, he added.