AGARTALA, April 8 - The Tripura Merchant Association (TMA) has demanded a complete ban on bilateral trade with Bangladesh in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the border State.
Although all the Land Customs Stations and border haats have been shut down in the wake of the pandemic, bilateral trade is on through the Akhaura ICP near Agartala amid the lockdown restrictions.
Some essential items are coming in through the Akhaura ICP, though fish import has been completely banned.
�We want a complete shutdown of bilateral trade with Bangladesh because drivers and other workers from that country are arriving here to unload their trucks. We have doubts whether they are thoroughly screened before they enter this side of the ICP,� said Sudip Roy, TMA secretary.
Roy said that he had already spoken to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who is in favour of suspending all movement across Bangladesh and other neighbouring States to combat the novel coronavirus threat, on the issue.
The TMA secretary added that he had also met the manager of the Akhaura ICP, Debasish Nandi, and drawn his attention towards the growing concerns arising out of the continuing bilateral trade through the ICP.
However, no decision has been taken over the suspension of bilateral trade as the matter will be decided by New Delhi and Dhaka.