Influx problem has all along been there: Gogoi
Source: The Sangai Express / Press Trust of India

Guwahati, December 03 2012: The problem of influx by illegal immigrants to Assam from Bangaldesh has been there all along but was now on the decline, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said.

Gogoi made the comment to a delegation of parliamentarians from Bangaldesh who called on him late last evening at his residence here, an official statement said today.

"The issue of influx also figured in the informal talks.

The Bangladeshi delegation told the Chief Minister that they were not aware of the influx issue in Assam.

"Chief Minister Gogoi told the delegation that the influx problem has all along been there.

In the same breath, Gogoi pointed that there was no large-scale influx and it (the influx) was on the decline," the statement said.

The chief minister said he had taken up the issue of influx with Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina during his visit to Dhaka with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in September 2011 .

Gogoi said his government is committed towards detecting and deporting those who came after 25 March, 1971, as per the Assam Accord and told the delegation about the initiatives taken to strengthen the machinery to prevent infiltration.

The delegation of Bangladeh MPs was led by Rashed Khan Memon.

Memon said the delegation was visiting NE states on an invitation from FICCI to meet, interact and exchange views with the government, civil society groups and entrepreneurs to discuss issues of mutual interests.

"There is tremendous scope for trade and commerce between north east part of India and Bangladesh given the geographical proximity.

Through enhanced trade and commerce we can pave way for socio-economic transformation of both north east India and Bangladesh," Memon said.

Gogoi told the Bangladesh delegation that it was time to further consolidate relations by increasing the volume of trade and commerce which would benefit the NE and Bangladesh and improving connectivity through road, water, rail and air was the best way to bring people of both countries closer.

He said before the pre-partition days the NE enjoyed hassle-free connectivity with Bangladesh through waterways.

"The partition of the country made the region landlocked by disrupting many routes of communication.

But today with the two countries having best of relations, the routes can be reopened for the mutual benefit of both sides" .

Gogoi welcomed Bangladesh's interests to invest in the NE and said his government would extend help and support to it.

Assam Minister for Industries and Power, Pradyut Bordoloi, who was present at the meeting, apprised the delegation about the setting up of three border trade centres at Sutarkandi, Golokganj and Mankachar in the state close to the Bangladesh border.

"The trade centres opened by us have not led to increase in the volume of trade and commerce.

There are some minor irritants that have to be addressed at the bilateral level.

"Our government has apprised the Centre about the issues that need to be sorted out to give the much-needed impetus to trade and commerce," Bordoloi said.

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