Centre to give fillip to trade, connectivity with neigbours

GUWAHATI, JUN 12 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 6/12/2019 12:08:04 PM IST

Two weeks after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office for the second term, the Centre is giving final touches to a host of new initiatives – mini ICPs (Integrated check post), rail-based Ro-Ro service to decongest road traffic in Bangladesh border and bus service between Myanmar and Manipur – to improve connectivity with Eastern neighbours.

It was anticipated that the new government will focus its attention on trade and connectivity with BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) and BIMSTEC nations (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan). There is now an enhanced focus on coordination between different Departments to ensure efficient implementation of projects.

While NITI Aayog is leading on the planning part, the recently formed Logistics Department under the Commerce Ministry is ensuring that different arms of the government do not work in silos.

The proposed list for upgrade includes border gates at Nampong (Arunachal Pradesh) and Zokhawthar (Mizoram) with Myanmar. The Zokhawthar border has potential to connect India sponsored Trilateral Highway (from India to Thailand) bypassing Manipur.

On Bangladesh border, Mahendraganj (Meghalaya), Sheila Bazar (Meghalaya) and Srimantapur and Raghnabazar in Tripura are proposed to be mini ICPs.

While the list will be finalised after a detailed study, the government is looking for a suitable location to open a trade point between Nagaland and Myanmar. Nagaland does not have any trade facility.

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