India and Nepal cross border trade felicitation seminar to strengthen the relationship

To strengthen the relationship and to discuss about the issues on the cross border felicitation of export and import between India and Nepal, a seminar was organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Consulate General of Nepal at Siliguri last evening.

 India and Nepal cross border trade felicitation seminar held in Siliguri
India and Nepal cross border trade felicitation seminar

Prabir Seal Chairman, CII North Bengal, said Cross-border trade through the Kakarivitta-Panitanki trade channel has been flourishing over the years, so has the bilateral economic ties between the two neighboring countries.

CII and FNCCI had formed the Joint Task Force in 1995 and the Task Force report suggested avenues for enhancing foreign trade not only in goods but also included services such as tourism, hydro power, education services, health services etc.

“Change for betterment begins at the grassroots and CII North Bengal in synchronization with the Consulate of Nepal and the support of relevant authorities can facilitate a more robust and vibrant trade relation between India and Nepal aiming at mutual benefits,” he added.

Chandra Kumar Ghimire, Consul General of Nepal, said certain items Nepal has been exporting to India through Kakarvitta-Panitanki are mainly agriculture produces being grown in the eastern part of Nepal. Among the goods, major ones include high value crops such as ginger, fresh vegetables, tea, cardamom, medicinal herbs, aromatic and essential oils, seasonal fruits etc. For last couple of years, such produces need to meet certain compliance at the border point, he added.

When it comes to the border facility placed at Kakarvitta-Panitanki , Panitanki – Siliguri road is now well renovated, once imposed illicit tax over Nepal cargo has been lifted up or removed. The presence of customs’ Assistant Commissioner is available at Panitanki Customs thrice a week. Once complicated procedures required at Banglabandh-Fulbari have been simplified. Yet, some classical hitches are waiting for greater attention to sort them out. At a time when both the governments are discussing over customs modernization, traders speak of lack of lab test facility, insufficient quarantine amenities, distant bank in 7-8 Km, lower threshold allowed in the bank for businesses transaction and scanty parking facility.

Deepening integration to make it a reality for effective business, lowering the cost of doing business, Increasing clarities, transparency, traceability, avoiding red tape by standardizing technology with simplification, harmonization of documents and procedures are key for trade between the two countries to flourish, Ghimire observed.

Source: EOI

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