The revised Indo-Nepal Treaty on Trade signed in 2009 is threatening to make Nepal the next big duty evasion hub on a par with Dubai and Singapore. The treaty, expected to increase trade between the two countries manifold, intends to give hitherto unavailable export benefits to businessmen from both countries - a clause put into effect in March this year.
Financial intelligence agencies in India believe this may lead to overvaluation of consignments to avail of higher benefits under the export promotion schemes, which will hit the Indian exchequer. To counter this threat, the government has now asked agencies such as the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence ( DRI) to strengthen its intelligence network focusing on export-import channels between India and Nepal.
This was one area Indian agencies never focused on as there was no incentive in the system that would lead to export malpractices in terms of duty evasion.