Tripura CM urges B’deshi to expedite ongoing projects

AGARTALA: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Tuesday asked Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, Muhammad Imran, to take steps on the early completion of the ongoing projects for the benefit of the two neighbours.

An official of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said that Deb and Imran discussed connectivity, trade, tourism, people to people relations and economic growth.

The Chief Minister also noted that goods and heavy machineries can be ferried to the northeast region from other parts of India and abroad, using the Chittagong international sea port.

Deb, who also holds the Industry and Commerce Department, later, in a tweet said: “Held a fruitful meeting with Bangladeshi High Commissioner to India,H.E. Muhammad Imran today (Tuesday) where we discussed the progress of various projects between the two nations in in Tripura.Timely completion of these projects shall further strengthen India-Bangladesh relations.”

The Chief Minister, during his discussion with the visiting envoy, also referred to the under construction 12.23 km India-Bangladesh railway project involving Tripura.

He also discussed several upcoming border projects, including a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Integrated Check Posts (ICP), an under construction bridge over river Feni in Sabroom in southern Tripura, border trade facilities in Belonia and the India-Bangladesh waterway project in Sonamura in western Tripura.

To boost trade with Bangladesh, the Indian government has already set up two ICPs in Tripura, in Agartala and Sonamura, two Border Haats (markets) in western and southern Tripura and proposed to set up several such markets along the borders with other northeastern states.

Meanwhile, a 10-member team of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) led by B. Sinha, a member of CII North East Council, met the High Commissioner and discussed various trade and economic issues.

A CII release said that the delegation raised the issue of the high import duty imposed on tea by Bangladesh.

“CII requested relaxation on the import duty on tea which is 80 per cent now, so that the Tripura tea industry can take advantage. CII also requested port restrictions to be removed for processed rubber goods from Tripura. Tripura is the second largest producer of rubber and produces rubber thread which can be exported through the Agatala ICP if the port restrictions are removed,” the release added.

The Bangladesh High Commissioner spoke about the potential Tripura has in tourism and have mentioned about the need to market it in Bangladesh to attract more tourists.

Members from the Tripura Institute of Technology and the ICFAI University also told the envoy about the possibilities of tie-up with the technical institutes in Bangladesh for their international linkage programmes.

Since Tripura is one of the pioneers in bamboo innovation in recent times, the CII mentioned that the state is equipped to train artisans from Bangladesh on bamboo.

The the Bangladesh High Commissioner also told the delegation that regarding access to Chittagong Port, the Standard Operation of Protocol is being worked out. “Since Tripura has huge reserves of natural gas, modalities can be worked out with Tripura for supplying Compressed Natural Gas through Sabroom route to Bangladesh’s bordering cities,” the CII release said.

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