Boost to M’laya, Bangla trade
SHILLONG: Seeking to augment trade and commerce exchanges between Meghalaya and Bangladesh, the State Government on Wednesday proposed to set up 22 more border haats along the international border within the territory of Meghalaya.
The proposal to set up the border haats was discussed during a meeting between Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma and Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq A Karim, here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Dr. Sangma said border haats have the potential to create positive impact on the lives of people residing in the borders areas.The Bangladesh High Commissioner informed that the proposal for setting up of more border haats is under examination.
The Chief Minister also informed that the Union Government had recently approved construction of National Highway 127 (B) connecting Bhutan with the port city of Chittagong in Bangladesh via North Bengal, Dhubri in Assam and Dalu in Meghalaya.
Besides discussing means and ways to promote trade and commerce through use of waterways, the meeting also discussed the fate of the proposed bus service between Shillong and Dhaka which has been lying dormant for years now.
According to Dr. Sangma, both the Meghalaya and the Bangladesh governments would jointly urge the Union Government to act on the proposal for operating a bus service between Shillong and Dhaka.
“We will identify rivers as waterways for trade and commerce,” Dr. Sangma said while announcing the State Government’s intention to boost the tourism exchange between Meghalaya and Bangladesh and strengthening of the State’s power sector so that excess power could be sold to Bangladesh.
On his part, the Bangladesh High Commissioner stressed on the need for both the countries to re-discover and re-connect with each other.
“We are looking for improved river connectivity through the Brahmaputra basin,” Karim said, while also speaking on the need to strengthen the land custom stations along the border for integrated facilities.