Indian truckers driving into Benapole in Bangladesh without valid passport and visas will not be allowed entry into Bangladesh from January 2007, reports BDNEWS.
Truckers will have to obtain the documents by 30th September 2006. The district magistrate of North-24 Parganas in West Bengal has recently issued an order to this effect, sources added.
Expressing concern over the Indian directives, MA Momen, president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Thursday said, "Initially the move would reduce the import volume which is about 35 per cent of the country's total import of raw materials through the border areas."
The measure might have been imposed to strengthen security following the recent bomb attacks in Mumbai, he said adding that the move might have also been taken because of increasing informal border transactions.
DCCI president told the news agency that initiatives should be to simplify trade transportation, while the new legal procedure would only be time consuming.
"A meeting between DCCI members and the Indian counsellor is scheduled for Saturday" he said adding that the issue would be raised then.
According to a source, as good number of Indian truckers who drive about 1.5 kilometre into Bangladesh to Benapole to deliver goods do not have passports.