Traders ask Bangladesh to streamline paperwork

- POST REPORT, BIRATNAGAR

Jun 17, 2013-

The local business community has requested Bangladeshi officials to provide administrative, banking and quarantine services at Banglabandha to help promote trade between Nepal and Bangladesh.

The facilities are available at Panchagarh, but the traders have requested they be made available at Bangl-abandha as most of the trade between the countries is conducted over the Phul-bari-Banglabandha route.

The business community made the proposal at an interaction organised in the presence of the first secretary of the Bangladeshi Embassy Khan Mohammad Moiul Hossen. The traders have also asked Bangladesh to open an immigration office in Banglabandha. They said that communication between Bangladeshi and Indian customs offices was weak in the absence of immigration related problems.  They have asked for an arrangement between Nepal, India and Bangladesh where the respective customs officers could  travel from one customs office to another to ensure that customs clearance was easy, fast and efficient thereby helping to boost bilateral trade. Similarly, they have asked for uniform recognition to documents at the customs points in Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

Abinash Bohara, president of the Morang Merchants’ Association (MMA), said uniform recognition to documents at the customs points in all the three countries was a must to facilitate trade on the route. Traders are currently required to submit documents at the Phulbari transit point in India, and Banglabandha and Panchagarh customs points in Bangladesh.

Since the Bangladeshi broad gauge railway network has already reached Panchagarh, Nepali traders requested the Bangladeshi diplomat to think about the possibility of linking the railway network with Kakkarbhitta or Bhadrapur in Nepal. They also stressed the need to sign a motor agreement between Nepal, India and Bangladesh which would allow goods trucks to travel from one country to another without having to unload their cargo at the border for customs procedure.

MMA executive secretary Radha Raman Bhandari said that First Secretary Hossen promised to provide his utmost support by taking their concerns to higher authorities in Bangladesh.

During the interaction, Nepali traders also emphasized the need to make Rohonpur-Inghabad railway transport easier, upgrade Birol-Radhikapur railway to broad gauge and extend the railway service up to Mongla port of Bangladesh.

Published: 18-06-2013 09:16

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