Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006
Industry & Economy
States - West Bengal
India-China border trade slow off the blocks
It will look into expanding the agreed basket of items, extending the trading period and improving infrastructure at Sherathang Mart
Report is expected to be submitted by end-October
MR JAIRAM RAMESH
Sherathang , Oct. 30
India-China border trade, thrown open on July 6 this year ceremoniously, has picked up in fits and starts with total two-way trade till date recording a mere Rs 19 lakh, with imports from China at Rs 10.5 lakh and exports from India (dominated by a single item such as rice) at Rs 8.5 lakh.
In a bid to beef up trade by expanding the agreed basket of items and also for extending trading period up to October-end (from the current September-end period), the Department of Commerce, Government of India has commissioned a study by NCAER to make recommendations.
Talking to newspersons here on Monday at the Nathu La border, Mr Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of Commerce, said the NCAER study on the above aspects and for improving infrastructure facilities at Sherathang Mart, was expected to be submitted by end-October, after which the department will apply its mind on how to mount steps to make Nathu La trade more beneficial to the region. He said the Centre would spend Rs 70 crore on this project.
The Minister, in the same breadth, also made it clear that sourcing of the current list of export items will have to be done by exporters from both the North Eastern States and West Bengal. Items such as rice are now being sourced largely from the northern region. He said at least in the first phase of Indo-China trade through Nathu La, both the NE region and North Bengal should certainly be brought into the picture.
According to members of the India-China Traders Association of Sikkim, the exemption limit provided for 2006 in Exim policy should be increased to Rs 1 lakh per day without IEC (import export code) from the current Rs 25,000. He said Rites Ltd would also be asked to make a separate study for creation of an integrate customs check-post at Nathu La and infrastructure improvement at Sherathang, where the traders from both sides assemble for exchange of goods, along the lines of that done for Moreh at the Manipur-Myanmar border.
Describing the agreed list of items for duty-free import from China, such as Yak hair, Goat skin, Yak tail, butter, cashemere as "laughable", he said that the expansion of this list, once the infrastructure is beefed up, was necessary.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |
Copyright © 2006, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line