Biplab Kumar Deb, chief minister of the northeast Indian state of Tripura, has sought the removal of special permission requirements imposed on Bangladeshis entering India through Tripura to improve exports in the state, the Economic Times reported.
Deb, in a meeting on the Act East Policy organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, said, “Any Bangladeshi with a valid visa can enter India through any of the designated land ports or international airports. However, special permission is required if a Bangladeshi with a valid visa uses Akhaura and any other land port of Tripura as the entry point.”
The chief minister requested the ministry to look into the matter so as to remove this special provision and allow Bangladesh citizens with Indian visas to enter Tripura from any land port. Deb also sought removal of port restrictions imposed by Bangladesh so as to increase the volume of exports from Tripura to Bangladesh.
“During 2016, total volume of trade between Tripura and Bangladesh was Rs304 crore. Export from Tripura was only Rs4 crore. Thus, there is severe trade deficit being faced by Tripura due to port restrictions imposed by Bangladesh on items exported from Tripura,” Deb was quoted as saying by the Northeast Today.
Deb requested the Ministry of External Affairs to take appropriate measures to remove trade restrictions on 27 items from Tripura to Bangladesh so as to improve the trade of Tripura with Bangladesh and to reduce the trade deficit significantly. He also sought operationalization of Chittagong port, which is only 75km from Sabroom – a town in South Tripura.
He also took up the matter of implementation of BBIN – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal – Motor Vehicle Agreement.
The chief minister requested MEA to obtain a no objection certificate from Bangladesh to set up two more Haats at Kamalpur, Dhalai District, and Ragna (Palbasti) of North Tripura. He also requested to MEA to pursue the matter with Bangladesh so as to encourage investors from Bangladesh to invest in Tripura and other parts of the North Eastern States which will improve bilateral trade between the two countries and benefit the North Eastern Region.