Mizoram Trade Group Vows To Stop Illegal Border Trade

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A Mizoram-based trade group wants to start monitoring trade between Myanmar and India after it says millions of Indian rupees in taxes are being lost every day from unlicensed merchants selling and buying goods on the border.

The Importer and Exporter Code Holder Association of Mizoram says it will monitor illegal trading in Burma’s # 2 border trading camp located in Rihkhawdar town, in Chin state and India’s Mizoram State.

“Trading between Rih and Zokhawthar amounts to millions of Indian Rupee every month but traders aren’t paying taxes on this. The Indian government is losing millions of rupees every month. We need to stop it. We will monitor all cargo vehicles entering and leaving Mizoram,” said R. Lalruatfela, head of the association, during a recent press conference in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram.

Seventy-percent of imports to the Indian state are illegal transactions, R. Lalruatfela said. Most traders aren’t licensed, especially in the # 2 border trading camp.

The Mizoram State government wants to make all trade between the two nations official, said an anonymous Chin businesswoman.

“Currently, most of the border trade is illegal. Almost all Burmese traders don’t have official licenses and we need them,” she told Khonumthung News.

Yet, Myanmar merchants will suffer if the Importer and Exporter Code Holder Association of Mizoram has its way, she said.

“(Without licenses) we won’t be able to continue trading. We need to wait and see what the situation will be. I don’t know for sure what will actually happen.”

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