India, Bangladesh inaugurate upgraded check post
Dhaka/New Delhi, July 21: In a bid to facilitate increased cross-border trade, Bangladesh and India on Thursday inaugurated the newly constructed modern Integrated Check Post at the Benapole-Petrapole point on the India-Bangladesh border.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the facility through video conferencing. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also took part through video call.
"Economic development and connectivity are very closely linked to each other," PMO India tweeted. It also thanked Banerjee for helping improve the relation between the two neighbours.
After the Integrated Check Post along the Akhaura-Agartala point on the India-Bangladesh border, this is the second multi-purpose Integrated Check Post between the two countries.
The Akhaura-Agartala check post was opened in November 2013.
"Petrapole-Benapole is a key land border crossing for India-Bangladesh trade. Over 50% of India-Bangladesh trade passes through Petrapole," PMO India tweeted.
"The check post will boost trade between India and Bangladesh and make available various facilities for passengers and traders," said an official of the foreign ministry.
The check post will have customs and immigration facilities, weigh bridges, security and scanning equipment, currency exchange booths, internet facility, cargo inspection sheds, warehouse and cold storage.
Other facilities include banks, scanners, closed circuit televisions, cafeteria and hotels.
"Petrapole ICP (Integrated Check Post) will serve to foster more economic integration and connectivity between India & Bangladesh," PMO India said.
Trade through the Benapole (On the Bangladesh side) -Petrapole (on Indian side) point amounts to more than Taka 20,000 crore ($2.5 billion) a year.
Modi backs Bangladesh in fight against terror
Modi extended his deepest condolences on the recent terror attacks in Bangladesh and said India is with its neighbouring country in "these trying times".
On July 1 at an upscale cafe in Dhaka's diplomatic Gulshan enclave seven young terrorists killed 20 hostages, including 18 foreigners.
Another terror attack, on July 7, at the country's largest Eid congregation in Sholakia, Kishoreganj, claimed the lives of four people, including two policemen.