Meghalaya urges Centre to ratify protocol with Bangladesh

Shillong, Mar 10 :  The Meghalaya government on Monday urged the central government to ratify the land agreement protocol that was signed between India and Bangladesh during Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in September 2011.

“The state (Meghalaya) government has been urging upon the central government to ratify the protocol signed with Bangladesh so that people on both sides are able to derive the potential socio-economic benefits that a well-defined and settled border offers,” Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi said.

Tripathi, who was addressing the state legislative assembly on the opening day of the budget session, said the government has approved the setting up of four, new border “haats” (markets) along the India-Bangladesh border to create new economic opportunities.

“Operationalisation of two borders ‘haats’ at Kalaichar and Balat has created new economic opportunities besides strengthening social bonding among the people along the border,” the governor said.

Pointing out that the government has been working seriously to deal with the problem of infiltration and influx in the state, Tripathi also stressed on the need to fence the India-Bangladesh border.

“The government urges all the stakeholders to extend their cooperation and allow the fencing work to be undertaken in those portions where it has been stalled on accounts of objections from local quarters,” he said

On the prevailing law and order situation in the state, Tripathi said the government was determined to overcome the challenges to internal security, peace and order and thwart the attempts of misguided elements (militants) to cause disturbance and disorder.

He also said that the government was committed to having a dialogue with the militant outfits, provided they gave up their anti-national stance and abjured violence.

He admitted that there had been a substantial decline in the state’s revenue.

Besides, the ban on mining of coal imposed by the National Green Tribunal had also created an adverse impact on the state’s revenue resources.

The governor, however, said steps had been taken to address this situation by improving efficiency in tax collection and plugging leakages.