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Sunday, Mar 24, 2002

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Easier export cargo movement to Nepal, Bangladesh via land

K.R. Srivats

NEW DELHI, March 23

IN an exporter-friendly move, the Finance Ministry has permitted the movement of export cargo from inland container depots (ICDs)/container freight stations (CFS) to Nepal and Bangladesh through land customs stations (LCS).

The facility for movement of export cargo from ICDs/CFs to Nepal and Bangladesh would be available only if cargo is moved through LCSs at Petrapole & Gede in Indo-Bangladesh border and Raxaul in Indo-Nepal border, officials said.

Reacting to the Government's decision, an official of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that a number of exporters to Bangladesh, especially those in West Bengal, had been demanding such a facility to reduce their transaction costs.

"This facility will now help in faster movement of cargo from hinterland ICDs to Nepal and Bangladesh, resulting in reduction of transaction cost,'' the FIEO official said.

FIEO and industry associations had been suggesting to the Government that all customs formalities for clearance of export cargo meant for Nepal and Bangladesh should be completed at an ICD. "Exporters had suggested that after stuffing and sealing, containers should be allowed to be taken to Nepal and Bangladesh by rail or/and road through an LCS,'' a FIEO official said.

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