Tripura Chief Minister Prof (Dr) Manik Saha has sought the intervention of the Government of India to take effective steps in reducing the duty on the export of tea produced in Tripura to Bangladesh and to speed up the opening of the “Maitri Setu” (Friendship Bridge) built on the river Feni in Sabroom under South Tripura district.
“The Bangladesh government has imposed a 90 percent duty on the import of tea from Tripura. If it is reduced to 25-30 percent, the tea growers of Tripura will benefit”, he added.
On this day, the Chief Minister said that in the two-day 70th plenary meeting of the North Eastern Council, the issue of taking necessary steps to export Tripura tea to Bangladesh was brought to the attention of the central government.
He also added that there is a tea auction center in Moulvibazar, Bangladesh. Tripura’s tea growers can participate in the auction if the Bangladesh government reduces import duty. He said that importance has also been laid on the use of e-market places for marketing of tea produced in Tripura.
The CM said that Tripura is the second largest producing state in the country in terms of natural rubber production. In his speech, the Chief Minister made a request to the Rubber Board on behalf of the central government to provide special incentives to the rubber producers of Tripura and to construct modern smoke houses. The Chief Minister mentioned that various port restrictions need to be lifted for the export of rubber products to Bangladesh.
“The issue of setting up a major land port on the border of the states of the North Eastern region was again raised from the Indian side in the meeting. He mentioned in the meeting to request the Bangladesh Government to complete all the facilities to effectively open the “Maitri Setu” (Friendship Bridge) over the Feni River to connect Tripura with Chittagong Port in Bangladesh. The issue of requesting the Bangladesh government to give no objection to the construction of an integrated development complex at Muhurighat and Manughat in South Tripura district was also raised in the discussion,” he said.
According to him, permission to transport all goods to the final destination is a long-standing demand of traders in India and Bangladesh. So the Chief Minister mentioned this matter in the meeting for consideration.
He also added that the Tripura government has decided to start air services between Chittagong and Agartala in Bangladesh.
For this every year the state government will bear the cost of Rs 15 crore as viable gap funding. The CM requested the meeting to take the intervention of the Bangladesh government in the matter of starting the air service soon.