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The Border Haats, meaning the border markets, were envisaged by the governments of India and Bangladesh as an instrument primarily to generate livelihood for people at the border areas of the two countries that are marred with limited access to development. The Haats are also expected to channelise a part of the informal trade that thrives along the borders of the two countries, viz, India and Bangladesh.
Four such haats are presently in operation at the India-Bangladesh border: two in Meghalaya (India)-Rangpur/Sylhet (Bangladesh) sub-region and the other two in Tripura (India)-Chittagong (Bangladesh) sub-region. These four haats have been reported to have registered a trade figure of Rs 17 crore in the last five years. The achievement of these Haats has also been acknowledged by the India-Bangladesh Joint Committee on Border Haats in its first meeting in Agartala, Tripura in July 2018.
A study on Border Haats done earlier by CUTS with the support from the World Bank suggests that Border Haats have cast a positive impact on the standards of living of the local people. By offering income generation and income enhancement opportunities to several categories of stakeholders, they have contributed to poverty alleviation in the area. Besides, people-to-people connectivity, cross-border relations and security needs have been addressed, alongside the lowering of informal trade. Border Security officials have also confirmed that bootleg informal trade has been arrested to a large extent in the locations that have the Haats in place.
The governments of India and Bangladesh, drawing inspiration from the success of this model, have decided to set up a number of more haats along the international border between the two countries. The ongoing research project on Border Haats endeavours to revisit the existing Haats, estimate the welfare gains in these locations and recommend locations where new haats need to be set up. Further, the project is expected to provide cross-border-specific and gender-inclusive evidences on the prospects of establishing border haats/border markets as a tool to reduce informal cross-border trade between India and Bangladesh. One of the aims is also to create awareness and generate consensus on the prospects of establishing border haats/border markets as a tool to reduce informal cross-border trade between India and Bangladesh among a diverse set of stakeholders including women traders.
The goal of this project is to improve livelihoods prospects of people, particularly women, living near the border areas of India and Bangladesh through establishment of border haats as tools to reduce informal cross-border trade between India and Bangladesh.
The project objectives are as follows:
- To collect gender-inclusive evidences including case studies to study the prospects of establishing border haats as a tool to reduce informal cross-border trade of between India and Bangladesh
- To create awareness and generate consensus on the prospects of establishing border haats as a tool to reduce informal cross-border trade between India and Bangladesh
The project will be undertaken in a consortium approach with CUTS partner in Bangladesh. The project duration will be 24 months and will be conducted in two phases – (1) field-based research; and (2) Creating awareness and generating consensus.
|Constituting Project Advisory Committee & viewpoint papers||Project inception meeting|
|Literature review and scoping visits||Field surveys|
|Grassroot-level stakeholder consultation and awareness generation meetings||Country-level Stakeholder Consultations|
|Stakeholder’s exposure visits||Research report|
|Final Dissemination Meeting – Indo-Bangla Dialogue||Monitoring & evaluation|
Project Implementing Territory:
|Indian Hili (West Bengal)***||Bangladesh Hili|
|Dinhata (West Bengal)||Lalmunirhaat|
|Changrabandha (West Bengal)***||Burimari|
|Kamalasagar (Tripura)*||Tarapur Kasba|
|Ragna/Palbasti (Tripura)**||Beltuli Fultala|
|Dhalai/Kamalpur (Tripura)**||Moulavi Bazar|
|Balat (Meghalaya)*||Natun Bandar|
|Bholaganj (Meghalaya)**||Bhola Ganj (Companiganj, Sylhet)|
|Nalikata (Meghalaya)**||Saydabad (Tahirpur, Sunamganj)|
|Ryngku (Meghalaya)**||Bagan Bari (Duara Bazar, Sunamganj)|
|Note: (1) * – currently functional border haat;
(2) ** – permission granted to start border haat
(3) *** Land custom station (LCS)
Happy Rahman Plaza (4th Floor)
25-27, Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue
Banglamotor, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
Tel: 880-2-9664720, 58610332
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
PAC Members and SLMs
- India awaits Dhaka”s clearance for two more ”border haats”
Outlook India, August 6, 2019