India, B’desh to set up haats on international border in N-E

India and Bangladesh have decided to set up ten border `haats` along the international border in the North-East to facilitate selling of locally produced items.

Last Updated: Jun 21, 2010, 17:58 PM IST

Agartala: India and Bangladesh have
decided to set up ten border `haats` along the international
border in the North-East to facilitate selling of locally
produced items among the people living in remote and
inaccessible areas of both the countries, officials said here
today.

While eight such border `haats` (bazaars) would be set
up in Tripura, two would be set up in Meghalaya, senior
officials and business leaders told a stakeholders
consultation on Indo-Bangla trade here.

The first border haat is likely to be opened at
Baliamari-Kalaichar (Kurigram-West Garo Hills border) in
Meghalaya , president of the India-Bangladesh Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) Abdul Matlub Ahmad said.

Places have been selected for border haats to be set
up in Tripura, officials said adding the dates are yet to be
finalised for the inauguration of such haats.

The haats will give the locals a platform to sell
locally produced items like fruits, spices, minor forest
produces excluding timber, fresh and dry fish, dairy, fishery
and poultry products, produces of cotton industries, wooden
furnitures, cane products, utensils and iron equipments like
long knives, ploughs, axes, spades and chisels.

These types of haats prevailed during the Mughal era
in Meghalaya, where historic trade links existed between the
people of Sylhet division of the then East Bengal and Khasi
people of Meghalaya.

The haats were closed since the liberation movement of
Bangladesh in 1971 and later those opened for some time but
closed again due to smuggling.

Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam share a 1,880 km
border with Bangladesh.

"These are weekly bazaars and an individual would not
be allowed to trade above Rs 2500 and people from five km
areas of both side of the border would be allowed for selling
or marketing," officials said adding government officials and
border guards of the two countries will manage the markets.

Trading at the border markets would not be taxed or
levied and would not fall under the two nations foreign trade
policies and laws, they said.

PTI