Cabinet approves MoU on setting up Indo-Bangla border haats


New Delhi: In order to set up ‘border haats’ or ‘local markets’ on the confines of India-Bangladesh, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh was approved by the union cabinet on Wednesday, an official statement said.

The small business centres aim at establishing a traditional system of marketing local produce through local markets in local currency or barter basis, thereby promoting the well-being of the people dwelling in remote areas across the boundary of the two countries.

Though not significant as a percentage of bilateral trade, these measures help to improve the economic well-being of marginalised sections of society.

An agreement was reached in 2010 to establish Border Haats at selected areas, including the Meghalaya border, to allow trade in specified products and in accordance with the regulations agreed and notified by both the governments.

To implement the same, a MoU and the mode of operation of the markets was signed on October 23, 2010. Subsequently, an addendum to the mode of operation was signed on May 15, 2012.

Border Haats are already operational at Kalaichar and Balat (Meghalaya-Bangladesh border), and Kamlasagar and Srinagar (Tripura-Bangladesh border).

In addition, both the governments agreed to further establish two Border Haats in Tripura and four Border Haats in Meghalaya on the India-Bangladesh border.

As per the MoU, new areas will also be identified for setting up of similar trade points. (Picture