India, Bangladesh to set up ‘Border Haats’

Agartala, Nov 4 (Calcutta Tube) India and Bangladesh have agreed to set up ‘Border Haats’ (bazars) along their border in Meghalaya, Assam and Tripura to boost local trade and business, a Tripura minister said here Wednesday.

‘India and Bangladesh governments have recently signed an agreement to establish two Border Haats along the border in Meghalaya. Similar such initiative would be taken subsequently along the borders in Tripura and Assam,’ Tripura’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Jitendra Chaudhury said.

These marts, to be set up within 5 km of the international border, will sell local agricultural and horticultural products, spices, minor forest products (excluding timber), fresh and dry fish, dairy and poultry products, cottage industry items, wooden furniture, handloom and handicraft items.

‘The Tripura government has sent proposal to the centre to set up seven Border Haats along the state’s 856-km international border with Bangladesh,’ he said.

The two Border Haats in Meghalaya are expected to start in February next year, he added.

A Bangladeshi delegation, led by its Commerce Minister Col.(Retd.) Muhammad Faruk Khan, visited New Delhi last month and held a series of meetings, including one with Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

The proposal to set up Border Haats was among the many agreements signed.

Trading in these bazars would be held once or twice a week, and a spending cap of $50 will be imposed per head. No local tax will be imposed on the trading. Both Indian and Bangladeshi currencies will be accepted, a Tripura government official said.

Infrastructure in the seven land customs stations (LCS) along the Tripura border are being developed to further increase trade and business with Bangladesh, Chaudhury said.

‘The two countries had earlier decided to upgrade the existing 27 custom stations in Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram – which share a 1,879-km border with Bangladesh,’ the minister added.

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