Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent visit to Tripura included a comprehensive inspection of the Srimantapur Integrated Check Post (ICP) and land port station in Sepahijala district.
During her visit, the Finance Minister assessed the facilities at the ICP and examined a jetty on the Gomati River, which plays a crucial role in trade activities along the Indo-Bangladesh border. She engaged in discussions with officials about the ICP’s operations, passenger movement, and the escalating trade between India and Bangladesh.
Arriving in Tripura to inaugurate the GST Bhavan, Sitharaman expressed her satisfaction with the state’s revenue generation since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Notably, Tripura’s revenue saw a remarkable upswing, increasing from Rs. 4.21 crore in central sales tax before GST to a substantial Rs. 982.50 crore in FY 2022-23 through inter-state trade.
As part of her trip, the Finance Minister chaired a review meeting focused on Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in the northeastern states, held in Agartala. During this meeting, Sitharaman urged the officials to enhance credit-deposit ratios and prioritize meeting the credit requirements of rural communities in the region. Emphasizing the significance of agriculture and allied activities, she encouraged lending under the ‘Kisan Credit Card’ scheme to support the rural populace.
To further boost performance and efficiency, Sitharaman directed the officials to develop a detailed roadmap within the next 30 days, focusing on areas that require improvement.
The Srimantapur ICP recorded a notable surge in export-import trade, evident in the custom duty collection that reached Rs. 17.85 crore in the financial year 2022-23, as reported by the Press Information Bureau (PIB). Acknowledging this growth in trade activities, the Finance Minister’s visit aimed to assess the border infrastructure’s readiness to handle the increasing flow of goods and passengers.
On a symbolic note, Nirmala Sitharaman visited the zero point along the Indo-Bangladesh border, where she was warmly welcomed by the Border Guards of Bangladesh, who presented her with a bouquet.