Tripura’s import-export business with Bangladesh is facing problems and it is getting worse, according to Moti Lal Debnath, president of Tripura Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Debnath made the statement during a press briefing at Tripura's Agartala on Friday.
“Since the beginning of trade between Tripura and Bangladesh across the Akhaura border in 1995, India has incurred losses owing to fewer exports.
“While India is importing goods worth Rs350 crore from Bangladesh per year, it is exporting goods worth less than Rs100 crore. And this loss for India can be attributed to Bangladesh’s border control policies,” added Debnath.
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Moti Lal Debnath, president of Tripura Chambers of Commerce and Industry, comments on Indo-Bangla trade relations on March 30, 2018 Pranab Shil
“The governments of India and Tripura are well aware of this situation. Even though the Indian government has taken up this matter with Bangladesh, we are yet to get the message through via the newly-elected Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb [who is the Industry and Commerce Minister].
“We’ll have an audience with him on this matter soon,” said Debnath.
Debnath also said, while India exported goods to Bangladesh worth Rs10,000 crore per year across the Benapole border, the same cannot be said of the mercantile situation along the Akhaura border.
He alleged that Tripura's business chamber took up the matter with Bangladesh but the talks, in this regard, did not take place.
He further added that they have urged Bangladesh to withdraw the border control over 27 goods, including: rubber-items, bamboo-items, tea, electrical and electronic goods, paper, sugar, salt, and bitumen are vital ones.
“However, our appeals have gone unheeded,” alleged President Moti Lal Debnath.
Debnath also alleged that while exporting goods to Bangladesh, India has to pay 100% excise duty. On the other hand, when India imports goods from Bangladesh, it levies excise duty upon Bangladesh at minimum rates.
Tripura's business chamber has also appealed to Bangladesh to withdraw its restrictions upon export of hilsa to Tripura.