‘Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was suspended from April and trade between the two countries was slashed by 40%,’ says Manipur MP
A high-level meeting of the government officials of India and Myanmar will be held on January 5, 2021 at Yangon, Myanmar, to take stock of the business situation at Moreh, India’s border town.
The meeting will hammer out an agreement between the two countries on early resumption of the suspended border trade. This was disclosed by R.K. Ranjan, MP from Manipur, during a seminar.
He said that “due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the border trade was suspended from April. Trade between the two countries was slashed by 40%. Over 70% of the 1,700 workers who used to earn a comfortable income out of the border trade legalised in 1995 had migrated”.
He gave an assurance that the summary of the seminar would be presented to Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren and other high officials of the Union government. Other officials and traders made various suggestions on how to resume the trade.
Though the international gates were closed, some persons have been smuggling contraband goods such as drugs, gold bars, foreign cigarettes and electronic gadgets. Police commandos and personnel of Assam Rifles have been arresting the smugglers along with the banned items almost every week.
As the foreign goods cannot be brought to Imphal in large quantities, prices of these popular items had become extortionate in all the Northeastern States.
Officials said that the outcome of the Yangon meeting will have a direct bearing on the moribund legalised border trade at Moreh.
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