SHILLONG, April 19 - The State Government has forwarded a report of the District Industries Centre (DIC) to the Central Government on the trade potential of the Balat Land Customs Station (LCS) which is non-functional at present.
Replying to a query during the Question Hour, Minister in charge of Home James Sangma said that the Balat LCS is non-functional as the volume of trade has been low and exporters/importers have shown lesser interest in moving their products through this route.
However, the minister said the DIC carried out a survey of the LCS last week after a meeting of the joint working group on trade between India and Bangladesh was held in New Delhi. In that meeting, officials from Bangladesh expressed their interest in reopening the Balat LCS so that export-import could be carried out through the route again.
The officials from Bangladesh said a similar LCS would be made functional on their side at Dolura in Sunamganj district to facilitate trade. Now it is up to the Central Government to take a decision on reopening the LCS after assessing the report of the DIC, Sangma informed the House.
Stating that no norms have been laid down to open an LCS, the minister said that under the bilateral agreement between India and Bangladesh, both countries examine an LCS if it is established in a particular area. Aspects like trade potential through the proposed LCS, infrastructural facilities and connectivity are also important factors before an LCS is established.