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Need to relook at contours guiding India-Bangladesh border haats: CUTS report

Cross-border micro trade takes India-Bangladesh relations to a new height

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi gears up to visit Dhaka later during the month, there is a need to strengthen people to people connect between India and Bangladesh, a CUTS International report said. The contours guiding the border haats between the two countries also need to be revisited, it said to enhance trade and people to people participation along the border. 

The report added that the upper limit of limit of purchases for customers must be revised so that they can buy more both in respect of variety and quantity. “This will be specifically crucial for Srinagar-Chhagalinaiya border haat where vendors have reported a decrease in their income from border haats,” it prescribed.

The report added that the current 5 Km restriction must be removed to facilitate traders and customers from key urban centres to participate at the haats. “This will provide the much-needed boost to incomes and business at the border haats,” the study noted.

Experts have also underlined the need to further strengthen connectivity between the two countries.

The two countries are already working out modalities to open up a bus route between Dhaka and Siliguri. The route is expected to be opened this year. Besides, India is also looking to fast-track the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India Nepal (BBIN) initiative which will boost connectivity among the South Asian neighbours through rail and road.