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Indo-Bangladesh JGC meet to begin tomorrow

By Staff
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Dhaka, May 2 (UNI) A two-day meeting of India-Bangladesh Joint Group of Customs (JGC) will begin here tomorrow in an effort to remove customs related trade barriers between both countries.

The official-level meeting, the third one, is being held as a follow-up of the meeting of Joint Working Group on Trade that was held here on August 1-2 last year.

Customs Commissioner of Benapole Mohammed Nasiruddin will lead the Bangladesh side while Indian Joint Secretary (Customs) Kameshawary Subramanian the Indian side.

Bangladesh would take up the issue of infrastructure development on the Indian side of Land Customs Stations as well as barriers to exports of perishable items from Bangladesh, an NBR official said today.

He said the Indian side would raise land port-wise problems like the ban on yarn import, cargo shipments through river channels and synchronisation of timing of border trade through the land ports.

However, the issues of discussion were not finalised yet as the agenda would be decided at the meeting tomorrow.

At the third meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade, the two sides noted the inadequacy of physical and infrastructural facilities at the LCSs impeding the movement of goods between the two countries.

India suggested expansion of infrastructural facilities at Petrapole/Benapole as well as other LCSs, operationalisation of LCSs such as Phulbari/Banglabandha (West Bengal), Demagiri and Kuliang (Meghalaya), Sabroom (Tripura) and Kawrpuichhuah (Mizoram).

The two sides would also discuss the issue of opening additional LCSs along the border.

Bangladesh will stress the need for development of Banglabandha/Phulbari, Akhaura/Agartala and Sheola/Sutarkhandi LCSs while India wants development of Thegamukh LCS as well as the construction of road from Thegamukh to Rangamati.

The meeting would discuss harmonisation of customs classification as well as custom procedures as Bangladeshi exporters often face problems relating to HS classification and valuation, causing delay in clearance of goods and avoidable damage.

Entry of Bangladeshi trucks carrying perishable export cargo into Indian territory will also be discussed.

India at the third meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade had suggested discussing at the JGC the possibilities of using the services of Indian Customs for the purpose of pre-shipment inspection instead of appointing other foreign agencies.

They pointed out that absence of PSI office in Tripura and other North-Eastern states was creating problems for the Indian exporters in obtaining PSI certificates.

UNI XC SI RN 2303

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