The first two-day meeting of India and Bangladesh joint committee on border haats in Agartala concluded on Monday with signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both the nations for establishment of six more border haats at new locations.
It was decided that a joint committee would review the operations and suggest modifications in the operational modalities of border haats.
“Out of the proposed six new border haats, the host State Tripura will get two while Meghalaya four more,” informed Md Shafiqul Islam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh, who led the eight-member delegation of the neighbouring nation.
Speaking to reporters, Islam also said that there has been a positive impact of the border haats not only on the local economy by improving the local trade and reducing smuggling, but it also improves the relationship between the two nations.
Bhupinder S Bhalla, Joint Secretary, Foreign Trade (South Asia) of the Government of India led the five-member Indian delegation.
Earlier, the joint committee visited the border haat at Kamalsagar in Sepahijala district, Tripura-Tarapur in Brahmanbaria of Bangladesh on Sunday and appreciated its vibrant functioning.
In the meeting, both the sides noted the positive impact of border haats on the livelihoods of the people living in areas adjoining the haats, according to a joint statement.
Both the sides had an extensive discussion on a variety of issues related to border haats including the review of the operation of the four functional border haats and suggestions for improvement.
Both the sides agreed to work on the roadmap for further expansion of the existing haats, said the statement adding that it was agreed that the next meeting would be held in Bangladesh on mutually agreed dates.