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PTI | May 14, 2019

The Centre has approved the Tripura government’s proposal for setting up a second Integrated Check Post (ICP) and two new border ‘haats’ in the state to improve trade and bilateral relations with neighbouring Bangladesh, an official said on Tuesday.

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The decision was taken during an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by the secretary of border management of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)in Delhi on Monday, Special Secretary, Industries and Commerce of Tripura, Kiran Gitye told PTI.

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The Land Port Authority of India (LPI) would construct the ICP at Sabroom sub-division in South Tripura and this will be the second ICP along the Indo-Bangla border in the state after Akhaura ICP here, which was set up in 2013.

Gitte, who represented Tripura in the meeting said, the two border ‘haats’ (markets) would also be set up at Raghna in North Tripura district bordering Sylhet district and Ghosh Khamar in South Tripura district bordering Feni district of Bangladesh.

The ICP project would be directly monitored by the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) due to its geo-political importance, the official said.

The state government had sent the ICP proposal to the MHA for linking the bridge on river Feni with Chittagong division of the neighbouring country in 2016.

The Chittagong port, considered one of the best ports in south-east Asia, is about 70 km from the bridge that connects Tripura with Bangladesh.

Tripuras Industries and Commerce Department has already identified 49 acres, including 9 acres of government land, for setting up the ICP at Sabroom.

The first border ‘haat’ was set up at Srinagar in Sabroom in January, 2015 and the second border ‘haat’ was set up at Kamalasagar in Sipahijala district in June, 2015.

Business takes place in the ‘haats’ once a week with people living within 5 km radius of the border selling and buying locally produced goods and crops.

No local taxes on the products are collected from the items sold in the ‘haats’.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Riva Ganguli met Tripura Chief Minister, Biplab Kumar Deb here on Monday and discussed issues such as trade and commerce and connectivity between India and Bangladesh.

“We discussed how to increase trade and commerce between India and Bangladesh and improve connectivity between Bangladesh and Tripura,” Ganguly told reporters on Monday.

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