Traders` stir in Tripura hits Indo-Bangla trade
Agartala: An indefinite strike Indian exporters and importers have called to press their demand for upgrade of infrastructure along the India-Bangladesh border severely hit trade for the sixth day on Friday.
"India-Bangladesh trade has been badly affected as over 250 trucks filled with Bangladeshi goods have been stranded on the other side of the Akhaurah border and are unable to cross the Akhaurah land customs station (LCS) in view of the strike called by Exporters-Importers Association of Tripura (EIAT)," the custom official said.
EIAT general secretary Habul Biswas told reporters: "We have been demanding upgrading of infrastructure, especially dumping grounds for imported goods along the border. But the government is taking a long time to provide these basic facilities. Negotiation with the government is on to solve the problems and to resume trade soon."
Situated just adjacent to the heart of Agartala, Akhaurah LCS, 150 km east of Bangladesh capital Dhaka, is 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.
"Due to the strike and closure of Indo-Bangla trade through Akhaurah LCS, the central and Tripura governments have been losing revenue of Rs.one million in customs duty and sales tax every day," said Biswas.
According to Biswas, on an average, business worth Rs.15 million takes place through the Akhaurah LCS every day.
Tripura Industries and Commerce Minister Jitendra Choudhury told IANS: "After discussions with the importers and exporters, the state government has temporarily stopped dumping of goods at the Akhaurah border as construction work for the ambitious Integrated Check Post (ICP) is going on there."
The construction of the Rs.80-crore ICP has to be completed within 18 months.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in May this year had laid the foundation stone for the construction of the ICP at Akhaurah LCS to boost trade with Bangladesh and facilitate trans-border passenger traffic.
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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