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Coordination Failures Freeze Border Trade

IMPHAL, Oct 31: Even as the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Government of India has given due permission to transform Indo-Myanmar border trade into a normal trade, the Commissioner of Customs, North East Region has been staying away from approving the permit.

According to a reliable source, not only the 40 items sanctioned for cross border trade between India and Myanmar, every other item excepting those listed as negative items like arms and ammunition can be brought within the scope of the border trade.

Although the DGFT has given due permission to transform the border trade into a normal trade, the Commissioner of Customs, North East Region has not yet acknowledged the permit thereby throwing a spanner to the cross border trade. As such, there are restrictions on movement of merchandise from Tamu to Imphal along NH 39.

Whereas normal trade pattern is followed at all border towns of India, the same pattern remains forbidden in Manipur, said the source.

Subsequent upon the permission given by the DGFT to transform the cross border trade through Moreh and Tamu into normal trade, the Principal Secretary (Commerce and Industries) Government of Manipur sent a written appeal to the Customs Commissioner, North East Region on October 13 to give due approval for bolstering the border trade as normal trade.

This was followed by another fax message sent by the Look East Trading Corporation seeking the same approval for normal trade. However, there has been no response from the Commissioner of Customs till date.

As for the Government of Myanmar, due permission has been already given for doing normal trade from Bangkok to Tamu via Yangon and Mandalay.

Meanwhile, ten items not included among the 40 sanctioned items were brought to Imphal by the Look East Trading Corporation. These ten items were sent from Bangkok to Tamu as sample.

As the items were samples and quantitatively negligible, there was no objection from Customs. Import of these items in any larger quantity is being prohibited by Customs office.

Meanwhile, a consignment of goods worth around Rs four lakhs which are not included in the sanctioned items have been brought to Imphal after transporting them through waterways till Kolkata by the Look East Trading Corporation in collaboration with their Bangkok based counterpart Siam Look West Company.

The consignment was brought to Imphal under normal trade pattern. The journey from Bangkok to Imphal took 13 days.

This period can be considerably reduced if normal trade is allowed on Imphal-Moreh route.

For growth of Indo-Myanmar border trade through Moreh and Tamu, it is imperative to follow normal trade regime as well as opening of the Integrated Check Post, bank and implementation of Letter of Credit, opined many traders.

Meanwhile, a consignment of goods worth around Rs four lakhs which are not included in the sanctioned items have been brought to Imphal after transporting them through waterways till Kolkata by the Look East Trading Corporation in collaboration with their Bangkok based counterpart Siam Look West Company.

The consignment was brought to Imphal under normal trade pattern. The journey from Bangkok to Imphal took 13 days.

This period can be considerably reduced if normal trade is allowed on Imphal-Moreh route.

For growth of Indo-Myanmar border trade through Moreh and Tamu, it is imperative to follow normal trade regime as well as opening of the Integrated Check Post, bank and implementation of Letter of Credit, opined many traders.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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