The teething problems in Goods and Services software infrastructure is hurting Indo-Bangla trade at Petrapole and other land borders. “We are facing problems since July 1. The infrastructure of GST is not adequate and not working smoothly though trouble shooting efforts are being taken. Due to this cross border truck movement is very slow,” Calcutta Customs House Agents Association president Sujit Chakraborty told PTI. “We are trying to get shipping bills or bills of entry for imports but lot of errors are taking place slowing the process of clearance. There is no proper guidance,” he said. Against an average of 350 trucks crossing Petropole to Bangladesh earlier, it has been reduced to 100 trucks now. Trade worth more than Rs 15000 crore takes place through Petrapole. The problem at Gojadanga land border at Basirhat is more than at Petrapole, while there are reports of hurdles at Mahadipur land port in Malda district due to the new GST software.
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The system-related hurdle has added to the woes of the exporters at the border. “The intregated check post built at Petrapole could not be harnessed at its full capacity due to lack of proper road of just 300 m in the Bangladesh end and now due to lack of storing capacity. Choked roads are preventing trade movement,” Chakraborty said. A lot of Indo-Bangla trade is in perishable goods and damage to them is not ruled out if GST system is not geared up, he added.