The Draft Write-up for 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) in respect of trade & Commerce Department.

    Introduction : To keep in line with the present pace of development at the national level and to abridge development gaps and infrastructure deficiencies, provision of necessary funds have been proposed during 12th Five Year Plan, 2012-2017.

    Border Trade

        Mizoram shares long and porous International Borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh. People of similar ethnicity inhabiting the Border areas on both sides of the International divide continue to sustain their requirements through conducting mutually beneficial trade, albeit informal. A sustainable economic upliftment of the people living along the borders, which are in most cases, located in far flung remote areas, would requires putting in place an organized system of trade, such as Border Haat(Common Village Market), border trade and preferably normal trade in due course of time.

    Land Customs Stations

        Mizoram has two notified Land Customs Stations at Zokhawthar (Champhai) and Tlabung, which are non-function. Zokhawthar LCS has been provided with a Composite Land Customs Station Building and other requirements for operationalisation of Border Trade transactions in the agreed 40 items of trade (Earlier 22 items, which has now been approved for diversification into 40 items). Now, road connectivity to the proposed Trade Centre at Kawrpuichhuah (Indo-Bangladesh) has also been provided at the cost of Rs. 1614 lakhs. The traditional trade route over Chhimtuipui (Kolodyne/Kaladan) which link Sittwe Port (formerly Akyab Port) in Myanmar is also proposed to be developed through the Kaladan Multi – Modal Transport Project.

        The Project Cover two-lane road from Silchar to Sittwe Port in Myanmar, Lawngtlai to Indo-Myanmar Border Road is under construction and is going on in full living. Kaladan Road from Lawngtlai and Paletra road from Myanmar will meet at the Indo-Myanmar Border called ZORINPUI near Zochachhuah. One site has been earmarked for opening Land Custom Station (LCS) and was visited by a team of officials and dignitaries of Lai Autonomus District Council headed by Trade & Commerce3 minister during the first part of Feb 2011. Land Lease for the site of Zorinpui LCS is being sought by the State Govt. from E.M i/c Rev. Lai Autonomus District Council which is expected in the near future. Detail Project Report (DPR) for all necessary infrastructure will soon be prepared.
        In the back drop of the above the following points are targeted by the state government:

1.     Zokhawthar LCS may be equipped for transaction of normal trade. Upgrading of  Zokhawthar LCS into an ICP is imperative  in view of the sizeable cross-border movement of people.

2.     The option of conduction Transit Trade with Thailand/China through Myanmar, using the existing LCS and the proposed LCS Zorinpui site may be considered.

3.     A number of Border Haats may be developed along the borders for economic benefit of people inhabiting these areas.

4.     Bangladesh Government need to be urged to agree for opening of counterpart  Land Custom Station (LCS) opposite existing LCS’s on Indian side and also  make its Chittagong Port accessible.

5.     The proposal for development of Integrated Check Posts (ICP) in the North East  States including Kawrpuichhuah (Tlabung) may be vigorously pursued. (State government has submitted a Rs. 5.00 crore projects as part of the Rs. 20.00 crore         earmarked for development of Tlabung ICP).

Scheme-wise Description

(1)    Agricultural Marketing :    As per the provision of the Mizoram State Agricultural Produce Marketing (Development & Regulation) Act 2008, all the districts, excluding those under Autonomous district councils have been declared as market areas. The act is being implemented for the benefit of the agricultural communities. There are currently 179 markets across the state which are directly or indirectly managed by the Department. These markets are of great importance as they provide livelihood to thousands of families. Trade & Commerce Department of the State Government have substantially contributed to the state exchequer. The revenue generated from various sources during the current year is Rs. 100.10 lakhs.

    The agricultural practice in Mizoram has been steadily transforming from that of  subsistance farming to commercial production, the result being due to the combined effects of gradual abandoning of shifting cultivation, introduction of new technologies in production, area expansion and better post harvest managements. To prepare for the clearly perceived increased production in agriculture the department has proposed to strengthen and argument its function of facilitating agricultural marketing through District Offices by providing necessary Officers and Supporting staff to its existing District Offices at Lunglei, Champhai and kolasib the wise opening of two new District Offices at Mamit and Serchhip is also including in the proposal.

    Also, adequate funds have been provided for maintanance of the 170 nos. of existing market infrastructures located across the State. A token provision of Rs. 10.00 lakhs only has been provided for establishment of the Mizoram State Agriculture Marketing Board as such Board is necessary to be formed as per the Mizoram State Agtriculture Marketing ( Regulation ) Act, 2006 as may be ammended from time to time.

(2)    Administration :          The Department has made provision to incorporate for development of its existing District Offices at Lunglei, Champhai and Kolasib and also to make District Marketing Officer’s Office at Mamit & Serchhip functional during the 12th Plan Period. Therefore Rs. 100 lakhs, an increase of Rs. 35 lakhs only has been proposed for the 12th Plan Period as against Rs. 32 lakhs during the 11th Plan. A full fledged functioning of these five District Offices have been necessitaited due to expansion of the functions of Department as a result of increased allocation of business, implementation of various Central Schemes by the Department and to enhance the revenue receipt.

(3)    Grading ang Quality Control :    The returns from sale of commercial crops, among others, depends much on the standardization of the crops. To improve the standard of crops and to ensure renumerative returns, grading and quality control measures have to be adopted and to inculcate these rewarding functions, trainings and awareness seminars have to be conducted. Inspite of the huge amount required for conducting such trainings and seminars, only a small amount of Rs. 25.00 lakhs only have been proposed during the 12th Plan because the Department has anticipated participation from Central Government Department such as the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection, Department of Agriculture & Co-operation.    

(4)    Other Expenditure :    Inspite of different hurdles, Mizoram Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd. (MAMCO), a corporation under Trade & Commerce Department has been functioning smoothly. it has actively taken up for creating market infrastructures with fund received under the Technology Mission introduced by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) during the 10th Plan. It has also achieved a commemorable result of availing the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for marketing selected agricultural products of the State during regressively bad market situation. To continue with the functions of MAMCO Ltd. Rs. 270.00 lakhs has been proposed. Also, Rs. 225.00 lakhs has been proposed to be provided during the 11th Plan for undertaking Marketing activities of agricultural products. This proposed fund allocation shall constitute 15% State contribution towards the Schemes proposed to be implimented during the 12th Plan period.

(5)    Miscellaneous :        To provide fund requirement to create critical infrastructures required to abridge development gaps provisions have also been made during the 12th Five Year Plan. Due to acute shortage of fund, Trade & Commerce Department could not take up creating commercial infrastructures necessary to improve commercial activities. The commercial infrastructures proposed to be taken up during the 12th Plan Period are essentially infrastructures aimed at export and such inclination has been made so that the State could be in tendem with the renewed focus of the Government of India to forge closer commercial and economic ties with the markets in the neighbouring countries with particular emphasis on South-East Asian economies. Apart from provision of requisite infrastructures, the Department has also proposed to provide necessary thrust for commercial development through providing avenues to educated youths for developing their entrepreneurship and providing adequate trainings and exposures.