Agartala: Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Bangladesh counterpart Tofile Ahmed will jointly inaugurate the first border ‘haat' or market, along Tripura-Bangladesh frontier at Srinagar in Tripura on January 13.
Sitharaman has sent a letter to the state government giving her consent to inaugurate the border haat on January 13, officials said.
Additional District Magistrate of Feni district ofBangladesh held a meeting with Additional District Magistrate of South Tripura district yesterday at Sabroom town to finalise the modalities of inauguration of the border haat. “In that meeting, the Bangladesh side informed that their commerce minister Tofile Ahmed would remain present to inaugurate it,” Shyamal Dev, senior manager of Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC) said here today. TIDC is the nodal agency of bilateral trade through border haat and the Additional District Magistrates (ADM) of the districts concerned are the chairpersons of the border management committees.
Dev said the border haat area at Srinagar and the roads on Indian side were constructed by India at a cost of Rs 2.4 crore and commerce ministers of both India and Bangladesh have been invited to be present on the inauguration day. Business in the ‘haat' would take place once a week among the people living within 5 km radius of the border who would sell and buy locally produced goods and crops. No local taxes would be imposed on the items to be sold in the haats and currencies of both the countries would be accepted.
Initially, 16 items were shortlisted which includes agricultural and horticultural crops, spices and minor forest products (excluding timber), fish and dry fish, dairy and poultry products, cottage industry items, wooden furniture, handloom and handicraft items.
Another such market is coming up at Kamalasagar in Sipahijala district, he said.
Altogether four border haats would be constructed in Tripura, two others at Kamalpur in Dhalai district and one at Dharmanagar in North Tripura district. These markets are to be set up at the zero line of the international border with one part on the Indian side and the other in Bangladesh.
The cost of construction of the Kamalasagar haat, 28 km from here, spread over two sides of the border, would be about Rs 2.44 crore and will be borne by the Indian Ministry of Commerce.
The first border haat was set up in 2012 at Kalaichar in West Garo hills of Meghalaya.