Trade with Bangladesh resumes after Indian traders end stir

December 24th, 2011 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Agartala, Dec 24 (IANS) Trade between India and Bangladesh resumed Saturday after the end of a week-long shut down, called by Indian exporters and importers demanding upgradation of infrastructure along the border, officials said here.

“After the withdrawal of the stir, the normal export-import business between India and Bangladesh through the Akhaurah land customs station (LCS) has resumed Saturday,” a customs official told reporters.

The Exporters-Importers Association of Tripura (EIAT) launched the indefinite strike demanding upgrading of infrastructure, especially dumping grounds, for imported goods along the border.

“The strike was called off following a meeting between the EIAT functionaries and senior Tripura government officials,” EIAT general secretary Habul Biswas told reporters.

Biswas said both the traders and the government officials have agreed to cooperate with each other to build the ambitious Integrated Check Post (ICP) to boost trade with Bangladesh and facilitate trans-border passenger traffic

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in May this year had laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Rs.80-crore ICP at Akhaurah LCS. It has to be built within 18 months.

The construction of the Akhaurah ICP, six of its kind being developed with Bangladesh and Pakistan border to enhance trade and business with the neighbouring countries and facilitate trans-border passenger traffic, was delayed due to haphazard trading activities at the Akhaurah ICP, 150 km east of Bangladesh capital Dhaka and just 2 km west of Agartala city.

“Due to the strike and closure of Indo-Bangla trade through Akhaurah LCS, the central and Tripura governments have lost a revenue of Rs.one million in customs duty and sales tax every day,” said Biswas.

According to EIAT general secretary, on an average, business worth Rs.15 million takes place through the Akhaurah LCS every day.

Over 150 traders and in all 1,200 people have been directly involved everyday in the trading activities at the Akhaurah LCS, the most important international trading land port in northeast India with an average of 200 Bangladeshi trucks loaded with goods coming to Tripura every day.

The important goods being traded through the Akhaurah LCS include fish, processed food items, cement, plastics goods, sheet glass, dry fish, furniture, domestic items, stone chips and machine parts.

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