Imphal, May 4, 2018: Chief minister N. Biren Singh said Moreh town of Manipur could emerge as a support centre for trade promotion activities by having commodity exchanges, logistics servicing and warehousing facilities and providing a transportation support hub in the implementation of the Act East policy. This was stated by him at the ‘Interactive Session with Chief Ministers of Northeastern States on Act East Policy’ held at New Delhi today.
Biren said Moreh town should be developed with multi-speciality hospitals, diagnostic centres, educational institutions etc. catering the needs of upper Myanmar. He informed that making available banking facilities, easy payment modalities, quick food safety checks, single window clearances for transaction and bringing transactional costs to the minimum would facilitate to boost the trade. He further stated that Moreh town could be treated as a buffer area where Myanmar nationals, with a pass issued by our authorities based on their ID cards, could visit for a specified limited duration. He mentioned that the integrated check posts (ICP) at Moreh has to make fully functional at the earliest. He suggested that there should be a single head for each border trade land customs stations (LCS) or ICP at appropriate level from either the ministry of commerce or any other government department.
The chief minister opined that the up-gradation of the 110 km Imphal-Moreh highway (NH39) to full double lane/four lane highway standards with paved shoulders should also be given priority to enhance the trade connectivity between the two countries. He also mentioned that Imphal-Silchar stretch of NH-53 should be improved as Imphal-Dimapur stretch suffer constantly from landslides during rainy season.
He also stressed that singing of ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement and its implementation in phases will accelerate the economic integration of North-eastern India with ASEAN countries. The India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway would open new possibilities for trade investment, he added. He suggested that a high level inter-ministerial body with the participation of Manipur and Mizoram governments be constituted to devise and implement appropriate strategy for the success of Act East policy. Such committee may closely monitor the progress the various connectivity projects.
Biren elaborately stressed on the India and Myanmar land connectivity on three fronts viz. Border trading point at Moreh in Manipur and Tamu in Sagaing division of Myanmar, trading point at Zokhawthar in Mizoram and Rhi in Chin State of Myanmar and Kaladan Multi Model Transit Transport Project(KMTTP). Completing these connectivity projects can bring about a sea change towards enabling a greater trade and economic activity, he added.
The session was chaired by Union minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj. Union minister of state for external affairs V.K. Singh, chief ministers of other NorthEastern States and minister for RD and PR, PWD and IPR, Th. Biswajit Singh attended the session.