A total of 18,36,953 metric tonnes of goods have been imported to Bangladesh from India in the last fiscal year through the Benapole land port. Sources said, if the port's infrastructure is developed further, imports will be increased through this port. Land port officials said, revenue from collected from imported goods totaled Tk 4 thousand 40 crore in 2018-19 financial year. In the last fiscal year, Tk one thousand 403 crore revenue was collected, which was less than the target of the National Board of Revenue.
At this time, the revenue target was targeted at Tk five thousand 443 crore. In the 2017-18 fiscal year, the revenue collected was Tk 4 thousand 16 crore 24 lakh against the import of 19 lakh 88 thousand 357 metric tons of goods. A Tk one hundred 79 crore 64 lakh revenue was collected, which was less than the target of the National Board of Revenue in that fiscal year.
Sources said, presently there are a total of 23 approved land ports in the country. Of them eleven land ports deal in import-export activities. Of these, import-export activities of six land ports are under the government management. The rest five are remaining under the private management. Commercial activities have not yet started in 12 other ports. The Benapole port is the highest revenue earner out of the eleven land ports. India, Myanmar and Nepal trade activities with Bangladesh on this land route.
The products imported from overseas destinations included raw materials and machinery used in industrial factories. The export products included raw jute and jute products. India-Bangladesh Land port Import-Export Sub-Committee Chairman Motiar Rahman said, "Due to the ease of communication, traders are keen to import goods through the Benapole port." “Considering the expansion of trade, the government has already signed transit agreements with three other countries (Bhutan, India and Nepal). But traders are not satisfied because of the lack of infrastructures. There is no alternative to infrastructures development to expand trade in this way”, he said.
Benapole C&F Association President Mofizur Rahman Sajan said, “Although the port authorities are developing infrastructures, it will not suffice. The revenue will be doubled from there if necessary infrastructures are built”. Senior vice-president of Benapole Import-Export Association Aminul Haque said about 60 percent of the country's goods are imported through the Benapole port. However, many are losing interest due to lack of necessary infrastructures.
Deputy Director (administration) of the Benapal Port Abdul Jalil said, various projects have been taken to improve the infrastructures of the Benapole land port. The automation process has started. In addition, there are plans to acquire new land and set up a CC camera. Hopefully, these initiatives will be implemented soon, he said.