Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju has ruled out setting up trading centres along India’s border with China in Arunachal Pradesh stating such an initiative could be taken up only when Beijing agrees to it. ‘China has to agree. We can’t enforce anyone. There has to be mutual consent, then only ‘border haats’ can be set up,’ said Rijiju in Lok Sabha during the Question Hour. Rijiju’s statement came when Congress MP from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering asked why India can’t set up border haats along the Sino-Indian border in the State. The Minister informed that without cooperation from the other country, no trade can take place in any border haat.
Currently, India has a border trading post with China at Nathu La in Sikkim. Besides, India and Bangladesh have agreed to set up six more border haats soon at the international borders. Presently four ‘border haats’ — two in Meghalaya and two in Tripura are functional along Indo-Bangladesh border and four new haats — two in Tripura and four in Meghalaya will be set up within a short span of time, ‘The establishment of border haats is expected to promote the well being of the people in areas across the borders of the two countries, which in turn will maintain peace and tranquility in the border regions,’ he added.
Replying to a supplementary question, he said Home Ministry facilitates safety and security of border areas so that trade could take place between the people of two nations, ‘We are not here to do business but to ensure safety and security of people and facilitate free and fair trade in border haats.’