New Delhi: India is looking to set up a few more land ports, buoyed by the success of such integrated check posts in Agartala and other places, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said.
“We are thinking of identifying a few more (land ports).
Beyond that, we have border huts, Customs stations and there are many things,” Rijiju said while addressing a function yesterday to commemorate 50 years of ASEAN and 25 years of India-ASEAN Partnership.
He talked about the success and brisk business being done at land ports in Agartala and elsewhere in India, saying it is not easy to set up a land port because you have to have an outlet.
Elaborating, he said, “These borders along the eastern coast and the North-East must be hugely explored… otherwise, people think they are far away from Delhi… The heart of the country may be Delhi. But shape and size of the country is defined by its border. The country does not begin with the capital, but it begins from the border. So, borders are important.”
He also suggested that the obsession with western education and issues with Pakistan must be done away with.
The home ministry has started opening various channels on the borders to improve ties with neighbours, particularly in Eastern and North-Eastern Region (NER).
The Land Ports Authority of India has taken up expansion of the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Moreh in Manipur for expansion of trade with Myanmar, India’s gateway to the ASEAN, and it will be inaugurated soon.
The ICP in Agartala on the Bangladesh border has started and a few more ICPs, besides Land Customs Stations and Border Haats, will come up.
Echoing his views, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that under the North-East BPO (business processing outsourcing) scheme, the BPOs have already started working in Guwahati, Jorhat, Kohima and Imphal.
The BPOs, he said, are also going to come up in Diphu, Kokrajhar and Silchar in Assam, Dimapur in Nagaland and Agartala in Tripura. Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Baleswar in Odisha have become the new centres of BPOs, too.
“The most moving moment for me was… Kashmir… today BPOs are working in Bhadarwah, Budgam, Jammu, Sopore and Srinagar,” the minister added.
He also said, “The latest BPOs have come up in Chittor, Mathura, Deoria, Farukabad, Jahanabad, Gaya, Pathankot, Gwalior and Amritsar. It is new India emerging.”
East India and the NER (north-east region), according to Rijiju, are rich in mineral and natural resources.
He cited the example of Dibrugarh, which contributed more to the government’s revenues than India’s commercial capital, Mumbai.
Myanmar has the third-highest Indian diaspora, next only to Nepal and the US, he added.
Rijiju is of the view that East Asia and South East Asia stretching from Japan and China and up to India is emerging as the world’s next economic powerhouse.
India cannot be delineated from South-East Asia and East Asia, he added.