A truck from Afghanistan enters via the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Attari near Amritsar. (HT archive) Exclusive
A truck from Afghanistan enters via the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Attari near Amritsar. (HT archive)

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Despite its challenges, the Integrated Check Posts along India’s land borders show the capacity of the Government of India to deliver on infrastructure projects
By Riya Sinha
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2021 04:31 PM IST

Despite the pandemic-induced slowdown and border closures over the past year, India has pushed through with its regional connectivity strategy. It announced a sixth Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Sabroom in Tripura along the India-Bangladesh border and began construction of the third ICP with Nepal at Rupaidiha and Nepalgunj. These moves reflect India’s priority to increasing trade facilitation infrastructure at the borders as part of the “neighbourhood first” policy.

murray-live-score,Each ICP serves as an entry and exit point along India’s land borders and facilitates the seamless movement of goods and people. It houses agencies such as customs, immigration, quarantine, border security forces, among others.

India has operationalised nine ICPs with its neighbouring countries, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Myanmar, of which seven have been inaugurated. Forty per cent of India’s land-based trade with these countries takes place via ICPs.,basketball-machine-nz

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basketball-club-maidstone,The idea of establishing ICPs along India’s land borders was mooted after the Kargil war to improve India’s border management infrastructure. This led to the institutionalisation of border management through the establishment of the department of border management (ministry of home affairs) in 2004 and LPAI under the department in 2010. During this period, a security-oriented approach to border management was dominant as discussions were held on the need to check illegal activities.

Also Read | India to appoint National Maritime Security Coordinator for maritime security

handball-match-france-tunisie,However, in the past decade, global and regional factors have led to modernisation of the land border management infrastructure through ICPs. In a recent working paper, I examine three key factors that explain the growing role of ICPs in South Asia.

wta-world-tour,First, the rising trade between India and its neighbouring countries and the focus among South Asian countries on using the territories as transit corridors have increased the need for better infrastructure. Trade between India and its neighbours has risen from 2.7% in 2008 to 3.5% in 2019. India is also the market for about 70% and 90% of Nepal and Bhutan’s exports. India’s trade with Nepal has increased from $0.3 million in 2000–2001 to $7.9 billion in 2019–20. Today, Bangladesh is India’s fifth-largest export market.

casumo-coupons,A second driver is China’s growing trade and investments in infrastructure in South Asia. China has increased its exports to the region from $8 billion in 2005 to $52 billion in 2018, a growth of 546%. Barring Bhutan and India, all other South Asian nations are signatories to China’s Belt and Road initiative. This places the onus on India to invest in connectivity infrastructure with its neighbours.

Finally, improving cross-border trade infrastructure is also driven by India’s international obligations. In April 2016, India ratified the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), thus harmonising trading across borders. India has also formulated a National Trade Facilitation Action Plan 2020–2023 to reduce its time to release cargo from ports. The National Committee on Trade Facilitation set the target for clearance of goods from land ports within 48 hours for imports and 24 hours for exports. For land ports, the action plan includes upgrading the identified land customs stations to ICPs; resolving logistics and infrastructure issues; standardising operational procedures. In 2017, India also ratified the Transports Internationaux Routiers or International Road Transports (TIR) Convention to obviate the need to inspect goods at intermediate borders and escorts en route due to reciprocal recognition of customs controls.,basketball-warehouse

Despite its challenges, the ICPs along India’s land borders show the capacity of the Government of India to deliver on infrastructure projects. The rising number of ICPs and the growing emphasis on improving regional connectivity in South Asia are slowly shifting the approach towards borders from zones of security to commerce.,rust-betting-sites

Riya Sinha is a research associate at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, New Delhi ,handball-world-cup-2021-squads

The views expressed are personal,handball-bundesliga-meister

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