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Illegally traded goods worth Rs 857 crore along India-Myanmar border seized in 2020

Illegal trade along India-Myanmar borderI

Authorities have seized goods worth Rs 857 crore that were illegally traded in 2020 on the India-Myanmar border. This year the amount is Rs 746 crore so far.

“These seizures are in spite of the ongoing trade which is alarming and overwhelming, detrimental to national development and India's Act East Policy,” Lt Gen Pradeep Chandran Nair, Director General, Assam Rifles said at an event organised by industry body Ficci.

He added that Assam Rifles as the Border Guarding Force has been at the helm of affairs controlling flow of illegal trade along the 1,643 km of porous and unfenced border between India and Myanmar.

Also read: How the sleepy town of Siliguri is turning into an international trading hub

Speaking at Ficci’s ‘In Conversation Series’ he said that the whole region is of great importance from economic and strategic point of view and will determine the future growth and development of the region provided necessary steps and initiatives as designed are executed under the Act East Policy.

Border forces are critical stakeholders in combating cross border illegal trading activities. At a time when India is looking to boost connectivity with its neighbours, it would have to put in place measures that would address the issue of illegal trade, which often includes drugs and other prohibited items.

The importance of India’s northeastern states which border several countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Nepal, has been increasing with the changing geopolitical contours amid a belligerent China. The Australian Institute of International Affairs in a study noted that although the states of Northeast India are small—physically, numerically and economically—they are increasingly gaining a significant strategic value. “With ASEAN engagement becoming a central pillar of India’s foreign policy direction, these states play an important role as the physical bridge between India and Southeast Asia,” it said.