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10 Customs Stations In NE Digitised To Expedite Clearance Process In Cross-Border Trade

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GUWAHATI, Feb 29: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday virtually inaugurated Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) at 10 land customs stations (LCS) in the northeastern region to expedite the clearance process in cross-border trade.

The process was till now undertaken in the manual mode, which took more time.

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“EDI implementation is poised to empower members of the trade community and all stakeholders in the customs clearance process through reduction in dwell-time and costs associated with cross-border trade,” north east commissioner of customs (Preventive) M Rahman told reporters here.

Onboarding these LCSes into the department’s electronic ecosystem compliments the government’s Act East Policy, committed towards optimisation of market linkages and development in the region, he added.

Most of these LCSes had been notified from 1948 onwards to facilitate trade and movement of people across the international borders, the official said.

“Out of the 10 LCSes, nine are along the Bangladesh border, namely Baghmara, Bholaganj, Borsora, Dawki, Ghasuapara and Shella Bazar in Meghalaya; Golakganj and Karimganj Steamerghat in Assam, and Khowaighat in Tripura, which collectively covers around 1,640 km,” Rahman said.

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Besides, one LCS, Zokhawthar in Mizoram along the India-Myanmar border, covering roughly 900 km, has also been digitised, he added.

“The export basket at these LCSes comprises mainly of minerals and agricultural produce, while the import basket comprises processed food items, cement and plastic products,” Rahman said.

The linking of these LCSes onto the EDI platform will enable a more secure and seamless ecosystem for paperless transactions of documents and enable online payments of duty and refund, he added. (PTI)

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