indianarrative

Cross-border trade with Bangladesh, Myanmar flows freely despite farmers’ stir

Cross-border trade with Bangladesh, Myanmar flows freely despite farmers’ stir

Notwithstanding the farmers’ protest over the farm laws and the Bharat Bandh called on Tuesday, border trade with other countries including neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar along the north-eastern states remained unaffected. Reports said that India-Bangladesh trade carried out normally despite the protests. The Petrapole-Benapole Integrated Check Post (ICP) near Kolkata in West Bengal and the Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) ICP in Tripura are the two main trading points between India and Bangladesh, through which cross-border movement of both people and goods takes place. Trade worth about Rs 4-6 crore takes place every day at each of the ICPs. About 100 trucks carrying goods ply from each of these two ICPs daily. “There has been no impact on the border trade, movement of goods has remained normal so far,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President S K Saraf told IndiaNarrative.com. According to an ORF study, the India–Bangladesh land border caters to 75 per cent of the imports and 50 per cent of the exports to Bangladesh. “Moreover, for the movement of people between the two countries, the land border is the preferred route,” the study said. Cotton fabrics, synthetic fibres, books and papers, iron and steel products, cereals and food items are some of the main items that are exported through this route. Imports from Bangladesh include ready-made garments, knitted fabrics, jute products, betel nut, rice bran and fish among other things. “We are committed to continue with the regular trade activities and so far our imports as well as exports have not been impacted by these protests. However, once the items are imported into the country, there could be problems in distribution especially if they have to be sent to states which are not close by,” an industry source said. Saraf noted that there had been some problems in the movement of goods earlier due to the rail blockade. “But now there is no such news at present to suggest that movement of goods is getting hindered,” he said, adding that supply side constraints must be handled to ensure there is no disruption in trade at this critical juncture. The FIEO chief said that exports of iron-ore, rice, ceramic products, glassware, handicrafts excluding hand-made carpet, spices, drugs and pharmaceuticals, meat, dairy and poultry products besides electronic goods have either shown “a very high or impressive growth or were in positive territory.”.