The union cabinet on Wednesday gave an ex-post-facto approval to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh for setting up ‘Border Haats’, an official statement said.
The Border Haats aim at establishing a traditional system of marketing local produce thorough local markets in local currency or barter basis, thereby promoting the well-being of the people dwelling in remote areas across the boundary of the two countries.
Though not significant as a percentage of bilateral trade, these measures help to improve economic well-being of marginalised sections of society.
An agreement was reached in 2010 to establish Border Haats 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 governments.
To implement the same, an MoU and the mode of operation of Border Haats was signed on October 23, 2010. Subsequently, an addendum to the mode of operation was signed on May 15, 2012.
Border Haats are already operational at Kalaichar and Balat (Meghalaya-Bangladesh border), and Kamlasagar and Srinagar (Tripura-Bangladesh border).
In addition, both the governments agreed to further establish two Border Haats in Tripura and four Border Haats in Meghalaya on the Bangladesh border.
As per the MoU, new areas will also be identified for Border Haats.