Border haats may open gates for better trading

Madhukar Gupta, Chairman of the Committee & members constituted by National Security Council Secretariat, during a meeting with Chief Minister Mukul Sangma in the city on Wednesday. (MIPR)

SHILLONG: The State government is banking on border haats to promote trade and commerce with Bangladesh in a higher scale.
The State government has already asked the Centre to examine the proposal to set up 24 border haats, including two operational ones and four which have been recently sanctioned.
Addressing media persons on Wednesday after a meeting with various agencies over border management, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said more haats along the border can create positive results and that there have been talks to promote such markets.
“We need to promote trade and commerce with Bangladesh in a much higher scale so that our border can be a transit point for import and export of raw and finished products to and from Bangladesh,” he said and added that even security agencies can utilise the opportunity to collect more inputs from across the border.
Stressing on the need for the Centre to revisit the Indo-Bangla border management in Meghalaya and develop multi-mode transport system and infrastructure, the Chief Minister said the State has urged the authorities in Delhi to examine its proposal to develop Hili in Bangladesh as a transit route, which will connect the northeastern part of India with the rest of the country.
The potential of power sector’s partnership with the neighbouring country was also discussed.
On security, Sangma said intensification of border patrolling, integration of technology and layering of border  security by the State police were also highlighted in the meeting with the stakeholders.
“We discussed about layering of border not only by border guards but there should be another layer of security by State police,” he said.
When asked about the delay in starting the four border haats which have already been sanctioned, Sangma said there were bilateral protocols for the same and the validity of those protocols have lapsed delaying the finalisation of locations for the haats. However, the agreement has been renewed and it is expected the entire process will now be fast tracked.