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MP Lorho S Pfoze pushes for opening four new Land Custom Stations in Manipur


“However, the state government has not raised any demand for the creation of additional LCSs,” the Commerce & Industry Minister told Lok Sabha

TFM Report

Outer Manipur MP Lorho S Pfoze has been writing several letters to the Centre demanding the opening of four new Land Custom Stations at New Tusom (Ukhrul), Pilong/Ashang Khullen (Kamjong), New Somtal (Chandel) and Behiang (Churachandpur) in Manipur since long to strengthen socio-economic ties with Myanmar. However, the state government has not raised any demand for the creation of additional LCSs.

The matter came to light when the Commerce and Industry Ministry made its reply to a starred question raised by Lorho S Pfoze in the ongoing Lok Sabha session.

Raising the issue, the Manipur MP asked the ministry whether the distribution of Land Custom Stations (LCSs) in the North Eastern Region (NER) is skewed as there are 25 notified LCSs along the 1,939 km-long Indo-Bangladesh Border whereas only three LCSs are notified along the 1,643 km-long Indo-Myanmar International Border covering four States of India.

He also informed the House that only two LCSs namely Moreh ICP (Manipur) and Zokhawthar (Mizoram) are functional, but not in good health while Nampong (Arunachal Pradesh) is non-functional.

In his response laid on the Table of the House, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said that there are 44 Land Customs Stations notified in the North Eastern Region of India covering seven States of NER, namely Assam (16), Meghalaya (12), Tripura (11), Mizoram (2), Manipur (1), Arunachal Pradesh (1), and Sikkim (1). These LCSs cover countries bordering NER, namely Bangladesh (36), Bhutan (4), Myanmar (3) and China (1). Five LCSs have been upgraded as Integrated Check Posts (ICP), he added.

The minister further stated that In the North East Region, there are 36 LCSs notified along the India-Bangladesh Border covering 4 States namely Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura and 03 LCSs along the India-Myanmar Border covering there States namely Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram.

He maintained that establishing a land customs station entails assessment of trade potential, infrastructure, exim (Export Import) connectivity, industry & market, availability of facilities such as banking and communication, topography and weather, bilateral relations and engagements with the neighbouring country. “It also involves inter-Ministerial consultations and consent of the neighbouring country,” he added.

Stating that Moreh-Tamu was a major border trade point between India and Myanmar, the minister informed that it has been functional from 15.03.2018 and was subsequently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on 10.04.2020. It is still closed at Tamu side by the Myanmar authorities.

“Likewise, LCS Zokhawthar was also closed due to COVID-19. LCS Nampong is non-functional since 1,962. There is no LCS infrastructure in Myanmar opposite Nampong,” he said.

“Also, connectivity infrastructure is very limited and there is lack of adequate industry and markets which would lead to demand of import/export,” the minister added.

Responding to supplementary questions in this connection, MoS for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Singh said admitted that the ministry had several correspondences with the MP and northeastern council. The ministry was considering constructing border huts. It tried to keep in touch with the chief secretary of Manipur asking them to understand the feasibility and desirability of creating more land custom stations and also the trade prospects. But no response was received, she added.

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