STATUS OF COMMRERCE & INDUSTRIES (COMMERCE WING)
Trade & Commerce Department was created in the year 1987 (now amalgamated with Department of Industries vide Government Order No. A. 46013/9/2016 – GAD Dt. 27.6.2016) with a view to improve the economic condition of the state through promotion of trade and commercial activities. Realising the agricultural sectors form the economic backbone of the State, adequate provisions were made to improve and promote agricultural marketing through regulation of agricultural markets and sufficiently safeguarding the interest of marginal farmers against all forms of unhealthy competition and exploitation. As envisaged in the Memorandum of Settlement signed in the Peace Accord of 1986, the function of development of Border Trade with the friendly neighbouring countries with whom Mizoram share 722 km long International border was allocated to Commerce Wing. This Department took over the administration and management of markets from Land Revenue & Settlement Department (LR & S Department) and Local Administration Department (LAD) with effect from August, 2000.
Thus, under the Govt. of Mizoram Allocation of Business Rules, 2019, the following functions are allocated to Commerce & Industries (Commerce Wing).
1) Promotion and Regulation of Trade & Commerce subject to provision of entry 33 of list in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution.
2) Trading by Non-Tribal (Regulation) Act, 1974 and Rules thereunder.
3) Border Trades.
4) Regulated Markets and Market Yards.
5) Village Market.
7) Collection of toll taxes on roads/bridges connecting India and foreign countries.
8) The Competition Act, 2002.
9) Export strategy of the State.
10) Price regulation of meat, vegetables, cereals.
Apart from the above allocated business, this Department has directly taken up the responsibility of implementing Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and Projects such as :
1. Market Research Information Network (MRIN) Scheme also called the AGMARKNET Scheme of the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection, Ministry of Agriculture.
2. This Department has also been Notified as the Nodal Department for the Competition Commission Act, 2002 vide No. D. 24015/21/2005 - TC dt. 20.7.2005.
3. Direct Selling/Marketing.
4. Agriculture Export Policy.
Department’s contribution in the economy (Role of the Sector) : There are currently more than 220 Markets across the State which are directly or indirectly managed by the Department. These Markets are of great significance as they provide livelihood to thousands of families and a source of revenue to the Government of Mizoram by giving priority to improve Marketing of Agricultural Produce. The Department contributes in the State Economy from Revenue Collections by way of Permit fees on movement of Agricultural produces and market fees and stall rent collected from various markets.
Activities of the Department in recent years: During the current fiscal year, Commerce & Industries Department (Commerce Wing) collected revenue from Checkgate fee, Stall rent, Market fee, and the total revenue collection during the period from April, 2019 to November, 2019 is Rs. 238.00 lakh in which more than 300.00 lakh is expected at the end of fiscal year.
During 2018-2019 Financial Year, Government has allocated Rs. 4500.00 lakhs for construction of Market Yards at City and Towns under NEDP. Out of this allocated amount, Rs 3500.00 lakhs is earmarked for construction of Aizawl City Centre Annexe and Rs. 1000.00 lakhs is for continuation of other Markets at Lunglei, Champhai, Kolasib, Kanhmun, Saitual, Thenzawl, Serchhip and Sihphir. During 2019-2020 Rs. 3400.00 lakhs is allocated for Construction of Aizawl City Centre Main Building at New Market under Smart City Project.
Development of Border Trade is one of the activities of the Department. The Department has taking steps in constructing infrastructures along international border for the development of Border Trade activities with neighbouring countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Under NABARD RIDF – XXIII fund amounting to Rs. 1025.93 lakhs, Agriculture Marketing and Training Infrastructure at Lunglei has been constructed. This building will provide market and training infrastructure for farmers and vegetable sellers within Lunglei Town and its surrounding areas.
Border Trade with Myanmar :
For the improvement of trade and development of closer ties/bonds with Myanmar, Border Trade Centre at Vaphai, Farkawn and Sangau has been started for site preparation/side development, brick wall fencing of trade centre, godown and quarters. The funding of Infrastructure Development has been met through ASIDE Scheme which has been continued with TIES from Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India.
Land Customs Station, Zokhawthar was inaugurated on 25th March 2015 by the then Union Minister of Commerce & Industries, Shri Nirmala Sitharaman. Rs. 8.00 crore DPR was submitted to Central Government for upgradation of Zokhawthar LCS. DPR for Contruction of BUSGS Bridge was already approved.
A joint meeting between India delegates and Myanmar delegates was held on 3rd December, 2019 at Chief Secretary’s Office on issues related to Border Trade Development.
Land had already been acquired for development of Zorinpui Land Custom Station.
DPR for this LCS was already submitted to the Ministry of External Affairs and Bridge location site across the border river was also earmarked.
Border Trade with Bangladesh :
To promote trade between India and Bangladesh from the border areas of Mizoram, Trade Facilitation Centre was set up at Tlabung. Land has been acquired for development Integrated Check Post at Kawrpuichhuah near Tlabung. Bridge location site was identified and DPR for construction of bridge costing Rs. 230.01 crores with a span of 660m over River Kawrpui had already submitted to Ministry of External Affairs
The Govt. of Bangladesh is requested to reactivate LCS at Thegamukh which has remained dormant since 1965. This may be reactivated on the following considerations like export of ginger, chillies, chow-chow (squash), passion fruit, anthurium etc. and import of cement, iron and steel, garments, gas etc.
Export Development Fund for the North-Eastern Region (EDF-NER) :
A. Research & Development Training Centre (MFPRTC), Seling:
This project, an estimated cost of Rs 5.00 Crores with 100% EDF funding was completed in 2017 and inaugurated on 15th May 2017. The Centre named as Mizoram Food Processing, Research and Training Centre (MFPRTC) has been utilized for the training of food processing and entrepreneurship development.
B.Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC), Lawngtlai :
The construction work for site development and Building Block ‘A’ has been completed from the fund received as first instalment amounting to Rs 216.00 lakhs. This TFC will be an important infrastructure when LCS Zorinpui is in full-fledged functioning.
C. Food Testing Laboratory (FTL), Zemabawk :
With the utilization of Rs 308.00 lakhs EDF funding, a Laboratory was set up at AYUSH Building, Zemabawk. This laboratory shall be one of the most precious assets for enabling to ensure the food consumption is being safe for the people of the state. This is one of the urgent need of assets to conduct testing and certification of vegetables coming from outside state since most of these vegetables are suspected to carry residues of pesticides, insecticides and other chemical compounds which may be unsafe for human consumption. Therefore, any suspicious edible items even coming from Myanmar side shall be tested in this laboratory to certify for the safety of human consumption inside the State. Laboratory equipments had already been procured and kept in the custody of Health & Family Welfare Department. An official commissioning of the laboratory is expected very shortly.
Outcome of the Department’s activities so far and expected outcome (Impact on economy) : Commerce & Industries Department (Commerce Wing) is a revenue earning Department, but it cannot make big headway towards this goal as it has to manage itself within a small budget. Had the Department been given provisions for construction of Markets infrastructure, Wholesale Markets etc. more revenue shall be earned by the Department.
Infrastructure development has enhance the generation of employment like users, Mistiri, Labourers, Drivers, Material Suppliers in the contract works, this has fostered progressive increase in employment in an unorganised sector.
Development of infrastructure for Border Trade Centre/LCS/ICP is one kind of Capital Formation. On completion, trade will increase in manifold which will further lead to increase activities of traders, lowering of material cost, more collection of customs duties and revenue etc.
Problems and Challenges : The Agricultural practices in Mizoram has been steady transforming from that of subsistence farming to commercial cultivation. The present market area is very congested and there is very limited space for extension to tune with the changing situation. Besides, stringent rules and regulations has not been framed to control market prices, garbage disposal is not properly maintained and Information Technology System is not yet utilized in order to furnish necessary information to and from the Markets.
MARKETS FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE
Presently, Trade & Commerce Department looks after and managed 220 market buildings directly or indirectly within Mizoram. Most of the market buildings needs major repair for which funds are required. Unless these repairs are undertaken immediately disaster in the form of collapse can occur in the market buildings anytime as the buildings are still occupied by sellers and market users.
The Trade & Commerce is a revenue earning Department but it cannot make big headway towards this goal as it has to manage itself within a small budget. Had the Department been given provisions for construction of big markets, more revenue could be earned by the Department. The Department earns revenue from the following sources like Market fees, Stall rents, permit fees, Gate pass.
CHECKGATES ON INTER-STATE BORDERS
Permits for movement of Agricultural produces beyond and into the state of Mizoram have been issued by Commerce & Industries Department (Commerce Wing) as per provision of The Mizoram Agriculture Products (Prohibition of Movement)(Amendment) Order, 1999, Checkgates were opened at - (1) Vairengte (2) Kanhmun and (3) Bairabi.
(1) Agricultural Marketing : The Mizoram State Agricultural Produce & Livestock Marketing (Promotion & Facilitation) Bill, 2019 is under process. Agri. Markets and its infrastructure are of great importance as they provide livelihood to thousands of families. Commerce & Industries Department (Commerce Wing) of the State Government have substantially contributed to the state exchequer. The revenue generated from various sources during the current year w.e.f April, 2019 to November, 2019 is Rs. 238.00 lakh in which more than Rs. 300.00 lakh is expected at the end of fiscal year.
Therefore, the Department has proposed to create new posts in order to strengthen and upliftment of a mass rural farmers in which a provision of Rs. 750.00 lakhs is proposed in the context of SDGs inside the Vision 2030.
(2) Administration : The Department has already 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 other Districts during the coming Financial Year. A full fledged functioning of various District Offices is necessary 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 and 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 remunerative 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.
(4) Miscellaneous : To provide fund requirement for creation of critical infrastructures required abridging development gaps provisions have also been made during the 12th Five Year Plan. Due to acute shortage of fund, Commerce & Industries Department (Commerce Wing) could not take up creation of 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 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.
Physical & Financial status of on-going projects under CSS, NEC etc.,
Commerce & Industries Department (Commerce Wing)
(as on 31.12.2019)
Total project cost
Expenditure already incurred
% of work done
New Market, Dawrpui Veng, Aizawl
Completed and prepared for Commissioning
Mission Veng Market Complex
Completed and Commissioned
State Funded on-going Projects as on 29.01.2020
Rs. In Lakh
Name of the Project
Source of Fund
Aizawl City Centre Annexe
Lunglei Supermarket Annexe
Champhai Rahsi Veng Market
Kolasib Venglai Market
Thenzawl East Market
Sihphir Twin Market
Sihphir Arpu Veng Market
New Serchhip Market
Aizawl City Centre
Smart City Project
Works To be executed soon