India looking at more ‘border haats’ with neighbours: CBEC

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) The ‘border haats, or makeshift markets, between India and Myanmar are functioning “very well” and the government is considering more such facilities on its various international borders, a senior official said on Wednesday.

At a seminar here on the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) organized by industry chamber CII, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman Najib Shah said the “informal trade with Myanmar is functioning very well.”

“It is restricted to certain value limits. It is restricted to local produce in those areas because we do not want other trades to get in. We are looking at such informal trade also with other border areas. But nothing has been firmed up as of now.”

Referring to the TFA in goods, Shah said that India is largely compliant with the provisions of this historic World Trade Organisation agreement to ease customs rules.

He also said changes are required in certain laws to make India fully TFA compliant, which the government will cpmplete within a stipulated time-frame.

The TFA, which aims to speed up the cross-border flow of goods, streamline customs procedures and reduce trade transaction costs, came into force last month after being ratified by two-thirds of WTO member countries.