Cross border road transportation between India, Myanmar and Thailand started with the linking of Myawaddy-Thinggan Nyenaung-Kawkareik section of Asian highway.
Expressing their gratitude, Vice President of Myanmar U Nyan Tun and Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Somkid Jatusripitak were present at the inaugural ceremony of the service. It was also termed as a cornerstone laying ceremony which reflects the bridge of friendship between Thailand and Myanmar.
With assistance from Thailand, work for the mega highway was started in 2012 which reduces the three hour travel time between Thinggan Nyenaung and Kawkareik to just 45 minutes.
The 25.6 km long section was awaited for being operational from so long. The Asian highway stretches from Moreh in India to Thailand’s Maesot via Myanmar’s Tamu, Mandalay and Myawaddy.
The route apart from contributing better connectivity in the region enhances trade between Thailand and Myanmar. The same section is also a part of the East-West economic corridor of the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
Notably, India and Mynmar are also having some crucial communication over introducing bus service between Mandalay and Imphal.
India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.
“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.
Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.
The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.
The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.
The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.
The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.
In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.
Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.
“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.