Agartala, May 11: Myanmar soon to set up a border ‘haat’ (market) on its border with India and an official team from the neighbouring country visited Kasba market in Tripura to study its functioning, an Indian official said on Wednesday. The move comes in the wake of the successful operation of such markets along India’s border with Bangladesh.
“A five-member team led by Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour Affairs Director Soe Paing Myint and Indian officials who visited on Tuesday the Kasba border ‘haat’ in western Tripura on the India-Bangladesh border,” a Tripura Industries and Commerce Department official said.
Four northeastern Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km), Nagaland (215 km) and Mizoram (510 km) share a 1,643-km unfenced border with Myanmar.
“The Myanmarese officials indicated their government is keen to set up such border markets to ensure the socio-economic development of people living on both sides of the international border,” the official added.
Indian External Affairs Ministry’s Under Secretary (Myanmar) Tavishi Behal, and Union Commerce Ministry Under Secretaries Muthu Kumar and Usha Sreenivasan accompanied the Myanmar officials on the visit.
The officials later visited the Akhaura Integrated Checkpost, the second largest trading point after Benapole-Petrapole checkpost along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal. Border ‘haats’ have been set up at Kalaichar-Baliamari and Balat-Dalora on the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya, and at Kasba in western Tripura and Srinagar in southern Tripura.
The border ‘haats’ are allowed to sell local agricultural and horticultural products, spices, minor forest products (excluding timber), wet and dry fish, dairy and poultry products, cottage industry items, wooden furniture, handloom and handicraft items.
Tripura Industry and Commerce Department director V. G. Genner said the Bangladesh and Indian governments have decided to set up more such markets along areas in four northeastern states.