Guwahati: In an attempt to boost international trade with a host of facilities developed in the region over time, the Central government has decided to set up two foreign post offices in Northeast India.
The post offices are to be set up in two major cities: Guwahati in Assam and Shillong in Meghalaya. These offices will add to the facilities available to the traders in the region. Currently, all international parcels and documents from the region are cleared from Kolkata.
Media persons were informed about the international post offices by top officials of the customs department on the sidelines of a seminar on import and export in Northeast organised by the Commissioner of Customs (NER) and National Academy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN).
As per sources from customs department, the government is searching for suitable buildings for setting up the two international post offices, which is likely to become functional very soon.
According to a report shared by the customs department, the volume of export from Northeast has gone down from Rs 17,06,09 crore in 2015-2016 to Rs 16,49,90 crore in 2018-2019. Imports on the other hand rose from Rs 665.49 crore in 2015-2016 to Rs 1,174.57 crore in four years.
Raising concern over the decreasing figure in exports , a top official informed that despite adequate facilities made available in the region, it is still lacking behind and yet to make a pickup in the graph of international trade figures.
However, he added: “One key reason for the sluggish growth rate is the lack of awareness among people about various facilities and government schemes made available.”
The top official further stated that traders, government agencies and other stake holders need to interact more and sit down together for discussion very often to improve the trade scenario of the region.
“Certain problems are being faced by traders and they need to be addressed by the agencies as well,” the top official expressed.
In Northeast, there are a total of 35 land customs stations, one inland cargo depot in Guwahati besides the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport for cargo and four border haats available for local level cross border trade in the region. Adding to it, a help centre is made functional in Guwahati with a single window point for any trade related query.