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Indo-Bangla trade declines in Tripura

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, Feb 9 � The political turmoil in the neighbouring Bangladesh has cast a shadow over the Indo-Bangla trade through Land Customs Stations in Tripura, according to official figure.

Even as there was a trend of increasing export-import volume, the latest figure indicates the trade volume for the year 2013-14 FY is unlikely to touch the previous year�s figure- Rs 343.06 crore.

The export-import between two sides has started scaling up since 2010-11 FY with Rs 255.60 crore following a serious of trade friendly measures. During the 2011-2012 FY, the State recorded Rs 330.60 crore bilateral trade volume while it has gone up to Rs 243.06 crore for the year 2012-13 FY.

It was expected the trade volume would increase in many folds after coming up of the Integrated Customs Station (ICP) at Akhaura, one of the best export-import destinations in the NE last year.

It seems, the recent political unrest in Bangladesh has adversely affected the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Tripura which shares 856 km international border.

Reports said the bilateral trade volume stands at Rs 182.50 crore till November 2014, which around half of what the previous trade figure stood.

The unrest in Bangladesh and downfall in the face value of Indian currency against dollar have contributed to the less amount of export-import trade volume, said Habul Biswas, president of Tripura Exporters�-Importers� Association here on Friday.

�In fact, the bilateral trade was stalled for three months due to bandh in Bangladesh. Now, the normal trade begins and hopefully will pick up shortly�, he said.

However, abrupt hike in the handling charge by the Landport Authority of India (LAI) also appears a problem for exporters and importers here. �We have taken up the issue with the LAI authority. A top official of the LAI will come down here to hold meeting with exporters and importers very shortly�, he added.

Apart from Akhaura ICP, Indo-Bangla trade is taking place at five Land Customs Stations- Raghna (Dharmanagar), Khowai, Srimantapur (Sonamura), Muhurighat (Belonia) and Kailashahar.

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