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India-Bangladesh LCS decongestion to help textiles sector
Dec '13
The Petrapole Land Customs Station (LCS) at India-Bangladesh border will now be made operational 7 days a week from January 1, 2014, which will benefit the textiles sectors of both the countries.
“The move will ease off the way for trade between the two countries and it will especially benefit the textiles sectors of both the countries,” India’s Textiles Minister K Sambasiva Rao said in a press release. 
Petrapole is the Indian side of Petrapole-Benapole border checkpoint between India and Bangladesh near Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Petrapole border is the only land port in south Bengal. It is also the largest land customs station in Asia.
The move to make the Petrapole LCS operational on all days of the week came after the Textiles Minister wrote to the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram about the congestion at Bangladesh border.
The Finance Ministry has taken measures to facilitate the trade at Petrapole, including extended working hours for the functioning of Customs at Petrapole, so as to provide more working days to the trade.
LCS includes any area in which imported goods or export goods are ordinarily kept before clearance by Customs Authorities, and the movement of trucks carrying export cargo is allowed up to the LCS of the importing country for discharge of cargo.
The delay in movement of export cargo at Petrapole is primarily due to infrastructural inadequacies at LCS, and the issues are being taken up with the local district administration.
To address these further, the Land Ports Authority of India is building an Integrated Check Post (ICP) incorporating state-of-the-art infrastructural facilities at Petrapole, which is expected to be ready for operation in 2014 which will further reduce congestion and ensure smooth flow of goods being exported from India to Bangladesh.
In addition, regular meetings are being held between the jurisdictional Commissioners of Customs of India and Bangladesh as well as meetings with trade official at the border to address issues of concern to the trade.
These steps are expected to ease out the traffic congestion to a large extent at the India-Bangladesh border, the statement said.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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