Dhaka, Delhi to swap trade-boosting recipes

Dhaka,  Sun,  24 September 2017
Published : 23 Aug 2017, 01:07:52 | Updated : 23 Aug 2017, 14:16:27

Dhaka, Delhi to swap trade-boosting recipes

Pleas for relaxing Indian port restrictions, countervailing duty; meet today
Dhaka, Delhi to swap trade-boosting recipes
Doulot Akter Mala
Dhaka would propose relaxing Indian port restrictions on imports, rethinking countervailing duty (CVD) on specific Bangladesh goods and improving border infrastructure on their side for boosting the two-way trade.

The proposals have been incorporated into an agendum of joint customs group meeting between India and Bangladesh today (Wednesday) in Dhaka, officials said.

Bangladesh is likely to place a 16-point agenda while India a 10-point one in the meeting for discussion and decision.

According to a draft agenda, customs authority would discuss ways of intensifying exchange of import and export data and other relevant customs documents regularly.

Bangladesh would propose that India make ICT facilities smooth at its Petrapole land port.

Operationalization of Dolura (Bangladesh)-Ballet (India) LCS (land customs station), introduction of Car Pass system at selected LCSs, placement of appropriate Customs Officials at LCSs for adjudication are among other agenda of Bangladesh.

Customs authority would request the Indian counterpart to allow free movement of customs officials in the borders of both the countries for facilitating trade and travel.

Commencement of importation-exportation through land route on Gede - Darshana border, quality testing of Bangladesh export goods at Agartala and other LCSs, improvement in infrastructures and logistics of the land customs stations, facilitation towards importation of 600 buses and 500 trucks under LOC and recognition of certificates issued by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) are also on the hosts' wish list.

Both Petrapole and Benapole LCS remain open 24/7 (24 hours and seven days of the week) to facilitate trade operation between the countries.

India would propose to explore possibilities of off-border clearance of cargo, installation of more weighbridges, easing port restrictions, implementation of Car Pass between the countries in the meeting.

India may focus on a review of exchange of data at Petrapole-Benapole and feasibility of extending the same to other major LCSs of high bilateral importance.

Other items on the agenda of India include review of the smuggling trends, anti-smuggling measures and assistance and issuance of bank guarantee against bonds with reference to the proposed agreement on the 'Use of Chittagong and Mongla Port for Movement of Goods to and from India'.

Industry-insiders said exports from Bangladesh to India are facing "continued setback from many non-tariff barriers including CVDs".

"Bangladesh became more and more dependent on Indian goods while Bangladeshi products face restrictions in India," said one of them.

Several times government high-ups had urged India to withdraw its CVD on Bangladeshi exports in order to bridge a yawning trade gap.

Despite Indian government having granted duty-free access for all Bangladeshi products bar 25 alcoholic and beverage items, India is realizing the highest rate of CVD on 20 per cent of Bangladeshi products.

Even garment products which are high on the list of duty-free products are paying 12.5 per cent CVD.

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