AGARTALA, March 31 - Worried by the �massive� bilateral trade imbalance through the Akhaura Integrated Check Post (ICP), the Tripura Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) has decided to seek Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb�s intervention in tackling the tough barriers imposed by Dhaka.
Bilateral trade through Akhaura, the lone ICP in Tripura, is tilted towards Bangladesh. Lately, it has crossed all previous records with Bangladesh exporting various items amounting to Rs 350 crore to Tripura and importing only Rs 100 crore worth of goods during the current fiscal.
It means Bangladesh has been exploiting the State�s market over the past several years.
To remove stringent trade barriers on exporting items, the TCCI has been running from pillar to post for the past few years, but it has yielded nothing so far.
�We wanted removal of trade barriers on 27 items so that our interests could be saved. Interestingly, both Delhi and Dhaka are well aware of the problem, but no positive step has been taken to fulfil our legitimate demands,� said TCCI president ML Debnath here today.
The 27 items include rubber products, bamboo items, tea, ready-made garments, automobile machinery, electrical goods, bicycles, autorickshaws, brooms, CNG equipment, salt, bitumen and cosmetics.
Debnath pointed out that while Delhi is charging a lesser amount of customs duty on Bangladeshi items to promote bilateral trade, the Bangladesh Government is collecting 40-100 per cent customs duty on Indian products.
�There must be an effort for a win-win situation for both sides. Massive trade imbalance cannot be allowed to continue for long. We want an amicable solution to the present problem,� he said.
�Since the Chief Minister is holding the charge of the department concerned, we will meet him shortly to brief him on the injustice towards us. Hopefully, he will take up the issue with the Central Government for proper attention,� Debnath added.
Besides the Akhaura ICP, two border haats are operational in the State�s border with Bangladesh to promote bilateral trade. Now more border haats are in the pipeline.