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Bengal CM hails reopening of Nathula border trade after 44 years

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, July 6 (UNI) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee today heartily welcomed the reopening of Indo-China border trade through the historic Nathu la in Sikkim after four decades and said it will open a new vista in bilateral trade.

''The reopening of Nathula after a gap of 44 years is itself a historic occasion and will go a long way in rejuvinating the trade between India and China, '' the Chief Minister said when asked to comment on the event.

''Though initially West Bengal will not be directly benefitted like Sikkim, as the new trade route would deal only with a small amount of trade on both sides on experimental basis,'' he said adding that later on they expect to reap great advantages from the new links.

State Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta , however, said the reopening of Nathula border pass was poised to help in uplift of the economic activities of North Bengal to a great extent.

''It will not only have a multi-dimensional effect on the economic progress of North Bengal, but will also help flourish the trading activities for the whole of West Bengal,'' he pointed out.

Recalling the full-fledged Indo-Chinese trading activities through three different routes in North Bengal, including the ones through Jalpaiguri and Kalimpong in Darjeeling district besides the Nathu la in Sikkim till 1950, Dr Dasgupta hoped that on the basis of the success of Nathula pass, the two other Indo-Chinese trading routes would be reopened soon providing further boost to the bilateral trade.

UNI ABA KK VD ND1546

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