Bangladesh State Minister, Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tract Dipankar Talukdar, on his maiden visit to Mizoram, called on the state Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla at his residence this morning. The two dignitaries held wide-ranging discussion relating to border trade between the two countries through Mizoram.

Welcoming the State Minister and his team to Mizoram, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla expressed his appreciation over the warm welcome and cooperation extended to them during their recent visit to Bangladesh accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He stated that the enthusiasm shown by Bangladesh Prime Minister and her Council of Ministers would certainly help boost future ties between the two countries. Lal Thanhawla further stated that in order for the Indo-Bangla Trade to really pick-up, it was vital to improve road communication. He assured the Minister that the Mizoram government was doing its best to speed all works on this side of the border and asked the latter to ensure the same on their side. The Chief Minister lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her keen interest in accelerating border trade and her personal touch when it came to bettering Indo-Bangla relations. He also mentioned that the minority tribes in the state - Chakma, Lai and Mara - each have their own Autonomous District Councils, where they even enjoy direct funding from the Centre.

Bangladesh State Minister Pu Dipankar Talukdar, on his part, assured the Chief Minister that all formalities at their end was being finalised and that the Bangladesh government was equally keen on starting border trade as soon as possible. He mentioned that a number of border trade points between Tripura and Bangladesh had already been started. The Minister added his deep appreciation of the “inspiring” initiative rendered by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla to usher in peace and tranquility in Mizoram. Eleven years after the Peace Settlement in Mizoram, Bangladesh also wrote its own Peace Accord and today the country is reaping the benefits of peace by working towards all-round development, Talukdar stated.

Also present at the meeting, Mizoram Trade & Commerce Minister Lalrinliana Sailo pointed out that Mizoram farmers were exporting a lot of hatkora to Bangladesh through Tripura; however, imposing of Rs.4/- tax per fruit at the border was causing problem for them, and requested the visiting Minister to look into the matter.

Bangladesh State Minister Dipankar Talukdar is accompanied by Md. Abdul Mazid Shah, Dy. Secretary, Md. Mahmudur Rahman, Director, Kazi Moklesur Rahman, Sontosh Kumar Chakma, Amit Chakma, Md. Rezaul Haque and Rev. R.T.Mawia.


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