GST impact: Indo-Bangladesh trade at Mahadipur land port comes to a halt
The deadlock started from Sunday morning and continued for hours. Later, although the port authorities managed to resume operations by shifting to manual mode, the queue of trucks at the border had become quite long.india Updated: Jul 02, 2017 17:05 IST
Trade at the Indo-Bangladesh border through Mahadipur land port in Malda district of West Bengal came to a halt on Sunday as computers of the customs department were not upgraded as per requirements of new goods and services tax (GST).
The deadlock started from Sunday morning and continued for hours. Later, although the port authorities managed to resume operations by shifting to manual mode, the queue of trucks at the border had become quite long.
According to sources, every day around 500 trucks pass through the land port at Mahadipur with export items.
General secretary of West Bengal Exporters’ Coordination Committee, Ujjal Saha said the stuck trucks were stocked with fruits, onions, stone chips, spices and boulders, among others.
“Later, senior officers of customs department directed shifting to manual system of issuing export bills, following which the work started, though, at a slow pace,” he said.
“Fortunately, trade was closed on Saturday, July 1, due to holidays in Bangladesh for Eid. Else, the confusion would have started from Saturday only,” said an officer of the land port on condition of anonymity.
Sources said India annually earns over Rs 1,500 crore from the export of goods through Mahadipur land port.
“The estimated loss because of failure of timely upgradation of computer software at Mahadipur land port on Sunday could be around Rs 10 crore,” said an official.
Local MLA of Englishbazar assembly constituency in Malda, Nihar Ranjan Ghosh condemned the lack of preparation of the BJP government in implementing the new tax system at the grassroots level.
“Because of the whimsical decision of the Modi government, businessmen are suffering,” he said.
The question that was raised by traders was that when a crucial department under Union government failed to upgrade its computer software, how could the same be expected from millions of small traders?