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Tripura to set up markets on India-Bangladesh border

Agartala , Tue, 03 Apr 2012 ANI

Agartala, Apr 3 (ANI): Tripura Government would be setting up markets along the border of India and Bangladesh with an aim to provide impetus to trade relations between the two countries.

State Industry and Commerce Minister Jitendra Choudhury told reporters on Monday that the markets along the border would result in the increase of trade at the grassroot level.

"Actually this border haat (markets) concept has been conceived by the Ministry of Commerce long before. From our state of Tripura, we have proposed to set up seven border haats in different parts of our state on the border between Bangladesh and India. In our Tripura region, Government of India has recently approved our four proposals at four places," said Choudhury.

The markets, popularly known as 'haats', would be set up in Kasba area of west Tripura, Raghna and Kamalpur in north Tripura, and Srinagar in South Tripura.

It is reported that the state authorities are unlikely to impose any local tax and trade in these markets would take place once or twice a week.

According to the provisions of the agreement, both the nations would trade in agricultural and horticultural products comprising of spices, wooden furniture, handloom and handcrafts would be allowed.

Trade between Bangladesh and Tripura has increased from Rupees 40 million in 1996 to Rupees 2,580 million in 2011.

Around seven land customs are being operated at the border, out of which four are functional at present and the business is worth rupees three billion.

Jayanta Bhattacharjee, a political analyst emphasised on the setting up of more markets along the border and said that it would help in strengthening the relation between the two nations.

"When the people of this kind (who are emotionally attached to east Bengal before partition) will come together, there would be lot of cultural exchanges, there would be lot of trade exchanges and there would be lot of emotional exchanges (as well). So, I think it is good for both the countries," said Bhattacharjee.

Recently, a delegation of Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) had visited Dhaka and met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who according to them had responded positively to the ICC's suggestion to open a deputy high commission office either in Guwahati or Shillong.

During the recent visit of Sheikh Hasina to Tripura she declared on improving regional trade and connectivity in this part so that poverty could be eradicated and there would be improvement in trade, business and tourism relations between the two countries by increasing people to people contact.

Four northeastern states - Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam -share a 1,880-km border with Bangladesh, some of it unfenced and running through dense forests, making it porous and vulnerable, out of which Tripura shares nearly 856-kilometre border with Bangladesh. (ANI)

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