NEW DELHI : Government will promote trade and business of North-Eastern region with Bangladesh, Myanmar and other countries across the eastern borders of India.
This was stated here by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh while delivering the keynote address at one-day Summit on “Sub-Regional Cooperation between India, Myanmar and Bangladesh”.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the border trade between North East and countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh has a tremendous significance as well as potential. Four North-Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura share a common border with Myanmar and Bangladesh, and serve as gateway of connectivity and trade in the sub-region, he added.
To be effective in our “Act East” policy with countries across eastern border, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, it is equally important to effectively act in the areas proximal to the border, so that products and items produced in the North-Eastern States can be used for trade with countries across the eastern border.
Because of common lifestyle and eating habits, the trade with the countries on the eastern border can grow effectively only when we develop the trade potential of the North-Eastern States, he added.
Congratulating the Modi Government for having concluded the Indo-Bangla agreement for exchange of conclaves, which was pending for the last 40 years, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, this is a major breakthrough for free trade with Bangladesh.
Another major step in this direction, he said, is the construction of rail track to Bangladesh via Agartala and added that the portion of rail track on the Indian side of the border will be funded by the Ministry of DoNER.
At the same time, fast track progress of the construction of 4 lane roads and plan to create 13 waterways in North-Eastern region will further boost this, he added.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, DoNER Ministry has received a number of suggestions, which include legal institutionalization of the trade along the porous borders in the East, setting up of Integrated Check Posts at the border and listing of items of trade potential with respect to each country like for example, cotton and garments in case of Bangladesh or bamboo and fruit in case of Myanmar.
All these inputs are being seriously considered by the Ministry and also being taken up with the other concerned Ministries, he added.-SAA