A high-level meeting between India and Myanmar will be held at Mandalay on January 5 to discuss reopening of the Moreh border which has been closed due to COVID-19 pandemic, said Lok Sabha MP RK Ranjan on Monday.
Speaking at a seminar on “Post Covid-19 Cross Border Trade” held at Moreh, a border town 110km away from Imphal, Ranjan said that a recent study shows cross-border trade has gone down from $128 million to $ 76 million. “ Nevertheless, with all our collective efforts, trade should flourish smoothly once again,” he added.
The state government had sealed the Indo-Myanmar border along Moreh town in Tengnoupal district amid rising cases of coronavirus infections.
The MP said he will discuss infrastructure development proposals for Moreh, the gateway to Southeast Asia, with Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and the Central leadership.
Airing his grievances to the MP on difficulties due to the closure of the border town, M. Thoiba Singh, president of the Meitei Council Moreh (MCM), claimed that illegal or drug businesses continue to thrive despite the border being shut.
“When the border is closed for legalised trade, the people who depend on this trade are seriously affected. But sadly, drug smugglers are still at large doing their usual business. The continuous arrests made by security forces speaks for itself,” Singh said.
The border trade seminar organised by the Border Trade and Chambers of Commerce (BTCC), was attended by representatives of different civil society groups of the Moreh town and government officials among others.
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