The Import and Export Code (IEC) association of Mizoram, India, has blocked the import of Burmese products from Rihkhawdar, Chin State since May 15.
The IEC has refused to allow products through the No. 2 Border Trading Camp, as well as through Zemabawk at the entrance to the Mizoram capital of Aizawl. On April 24, IEC representatives said in a press conference in Aizawl that many of the traders of Burmese goods did not have a trade license recognized by the Indian government, known as a “chalan.” Because of this, they didn’t pay tax, causing the government to lose revenue.
One Chin trader told Khonumthung that she did not know when the blockade would be lifted.
“They only block products. Passengers can go to Aizawl. They are watching whether products are being transported from the border to Aizawl at Zemabawk. I don’t know how long it will be going on,” she said.
Laborers at the border trading camp area have also faced difficulties because of the blockade, because they typically work transporting goods from the border to Aizawl. .
“Laborers don’t have regular work there, so they have left the border trading camp,” the same trader explained.
Traders previously worked under an informal understanding that they were allowed to transport their products to Mizoram, even without an official license. The current move is an attempt to formalize and regulate such trade, IEC has said
“To apply to get a ‘chalan,’ we have to write down the name of all the products we import to India. Then they will collect tax depending on what these products are. So we cannot make any profit. We will suffer a lot,” the trader explained. Businesspeople from Chin State are worried that under the new regulation, IEC will increase revenue at the expense of small-time traders.