India-Bhutan Current Affairs - 2020
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On January 21, 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepalese PM Oli inaugurated an integrated check post (ICP) at Jogbani-Biratnagar. This is the second check post that is being built at the border with Indian Assistance.
The aim of the new integrated check post is to facilitate trade and movement of people across the border. The check post was built under assistance of India. India helped in the construction based on its “Neighbourhood First Policy”. The check post was built over 260 acres with Indian assistance of Rs 140 crores.
The first integrated check post of the countries was built at Raxaul-Birgunj in 2018.
The check posts ensure better border management for the movement of passenger and cargo. They will also help to boost 7 billion USD trade between the countries.
What is Integrated Check Post?
Integrated Check Posts are trade facilitation centres at borders of India. The centres help boost bilateral trade and also help to improve movement of passengers in the border. This helps to generate employment, developing the area surrounding the check post. Ultimately, it helps in overall growth of the economy.
There are 7 Integrated Check Posts in India. The GoI is planning to construct 14 more ICP and 13 Land Customs Stations. The India-Pakistan ICP is located in the states of Punjab and Rajasthan. The following are the other ICPs in the border located at the corresponding states
- India-Nepal-Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttarakhand.
- India-Myanmar-àManipur and Mizoram
- India-Bhutan-àWest Bengal
- India-Bangladesh-àAssam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and West Bengal.
Tags: 'Neighbourhood First' Policy • Border areas • Border Issues • India-Bangladesh • India-Bhutan
The World Bank has submitted a master plan to develop logistics infrastructure of Kolkata metropolitan area. The bank is to invest 300 million USD in the project. The Government entities participating in the deal includes CII and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.
The focus of the project is to be on construction of rail, road, industrial parks. The aim of the project is to improve competitiveness, increase employment.
Recent Infrastructural Developments in the region
- The West Bengal Government has increased its infrastructure spending by five times in 2019 as compared to 2011.
- The warehousing in the state has increased by 191%
- The Inland Water Transport World Bank Project, Asian High way project, Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor are the current prominent infrastructural developments in the region
- Kolkata and West Bengal are strategically placed. It connects India and South East Asia in terms of infrastructure. This will help to achieve India’s interests in the ASEAN countries and also its Act East Policy.
- Location of Kolkata also enables trade and commerce to neighboring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh
- Kolkata has the potential to become the hub of India’s north-eastern region.