Guwahati, Sunday, July 21, 2019
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Inter-State bid to curb illegal trade in NE
 GUWAHATI, July 20 - A high-level meeting called for better coordination among neighbouring States on issues related to excise, finance (taxation), mines and minerals, environment and forest, and transport, was chaired by Assam Chief Secretary Alok Kumar today.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Satya Gopal in person, while Manipur Chief Secretary Dr J Suresh Babu joined the meeting through video conferencing.

The meeting decided on constituting three committees with senior officials of the Excise, Forest and Environment, and Police departments from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and other northeastern States for joint action in enforcing laws in these sectors.

These committees will coordinate to check and curb illegal trade and have in place a better monitored transport system. These inter-State committees will meet at regular intervals for proper execution of their works.

Kumar initiated the discussion by talking at length on the high volume of traffic on the main highways of Assam connecting the State with the other neighbouring States, its advantages and disadvantages, and stressed on strict execution of rules and laws to regulate traffic on these highways.

He underlined the need of designing a road map for a standardised process to protect revenue of the States, curb illegal transportation of goods, check smuggling of cannabis, ganja, and illegal drugs, etc., in Assam and the neighbouring States.

The Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh said that the State administration would cooperate with Assam and Manipur in curbing illegal trade in liquor, coal, timber and illegal drugs, etc. He also said that cooperation between departments and agencies concerned would check illegal transportation of commodities and movement of illegal goods to a large extent.

He underscored the need of introducing the latest IT-enabled system in departments like Excise and Transport in Arunachal Pradesh for prompt action. He proposed formation of committees with senior officials from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and other neighbouring States to curb illegal trade and for better transport and traffic management.

The Chief Secretary of Manipur thanked Kumar for this initiative and said that the Manipur administration would extend support and cooperation in controlling trade and transport by strictly executing the existing laws. He also added there is a need to reactivate the inter-State coordination of security system.

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