During a visit of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in January 2010, it was agreed that border haats shall be established on a pilot basis at selected areas. (Press Trust of India file photo)
New Delhi: Government today approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh to set up border haats.
The Border Haats will promote the well-being of the people dwelling in remote areas across the borders of the two countries, by establishing traditional system of marketing the local produce through local markets in local currency or barter basis.
The "ex-post-facto approval" for the MoU was given by the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The approval was given for "MoU and Mode of Operation of Border Haats signed on 23.10.2010 with Bangladesh for setting up Border Haats on India-Bangladesh Border.
"To establish new border haats after identification of suitable locations in consultation with government of Bangladesh and concerned state governments," an official statement said.
The approval was also given to modify/revise the terms and condition of the above MoU/addendum in consultation with relevant state governments/central government agencies and Government of Bangladesh.
"Though not significant as a percentage of bilateral trade, these measures help to improve economic well-being of marginalised sections of society," it said.
During a visit of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in January 2010, it was agreed that border haats shall be established on a pilot basis at selected areas, including on the Meghalaya border, to allow trade in specified products and in accordance with the regulations agreed and notified by both the governments.
In order to implement the same, a MoU and the Mode of operation of Border Haats across the border between Bangladesh and lndia was signed on October 23, 2010.
Subsequently, an addendum to mode of operation of border haats across the border between Bangladesh and India was also signed on May 15, 2012.
Four border haats including - Kalaichar (Meghalaya-Bangladesh border); Balat (Meghalaya-Bangladesh border); Kamlasagar (Tripura-Bangladesh border) and Srinagar (Tripura-Bangladesh border) are already operational.
In addition, both the government agreed to further establish two border haats in Tripura and four in Meghalaya on the Bangladesh border.