Centre to set up 14 land customs hubs

New Delhi, Sept 29 | Updated: Sep 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
The Centre will invest Rs 850 crore over the next three years to develop 14 land customs stations. These include eight along the Bangladesh border, four along the Nepal border, and one each along the border with Pakistan and Myanmar.

Of this, Rs70 crore will be invested at Moreh customs station in Manipur, the only functional land customs station through which trade across the land route along 1600 kms of the Indo-Myanmar border takes place, minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh said at a function in Moreh.

He said Indo-Myanmar border trade exceeds Rs 2000 crore. At present only 22 items are exchangeable under the bilateral border trade agreement. The minister said Moreh project specifically is a part of the Prime Ministers look-east policy, which envisages closer integration of the economies of the northeastern states of India with south-east Asia.

The commerce ministry has proposed to the Centre that restrictions on Indo-Myanmar trade be removed and that trade take place without any commodity restrictions at Moreh, as also with Bangladesh and Nepal, Ramesh said.

The Moreh project, executed by RITES, will be launched shortly and completed in the next year and a half.

The new integrated checkpost concept would manage both trade cargo and passenger movement across the border.