Centre mulls more ‘border haats’

The government is mulling opening more ‘border haats’ (border markets), encouraged by its success at the India-Myanmar border, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman Najib Shah said on Wednesday.

Mr. Shah pointed out that the “informal trade” with Myanmar through the ‘border haat’ was “functioning very well.”

“It (border trade) is restricted to certain value limits,” he said.

“It is restricted to local produce in those areas because we do not want other trades to get in. We are looking at such informal trade also with other border areas. But nothing has been firmed up as of now,” Mr. Shah added.

On the implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement in goods, which is aimed at easing customs norms to boost global goods trade, Mr. Shah said: “I do not think that it is too daunting for us to ensure we implement the TFA in both letter and spirit.”

Mr. Shah added that changes in some laws including the Customs Act will be made within the stipulated time-period to ensure the smooth implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement, to which India is a signatory, had come into effect last month.