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Bangladesh reluctant to reopen border haats at the moment

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Agartala: The unprecedented shutdown clamped on both the Indo-Bangla border haats located at Srinagar and Kamalasagar might continue for a couple of more months as the Bangladesh authorities do not want to reopen them for now.

The shutdown was ordered in March 2020 when both the countries were reporting high caseloads of Coronavirus daily, said officials.

According to the official data, vendors from India are bearing the brunt of heavy losses due to the prevailing situation. Since its beginning in the financial year 2015-16, sales from the Indian side only grew.

Sales from the Indian side stood at Rs 2.96 crore in the first year which rose to Rs 8.93 crore in the financial year 2019-20. Bangladesh’s business statistics remained low with a cumulative sale of Rs 4.24 crore from the beginning till the shutdown.

“There are two border haats located in the Indo-Bangla borders at Srinagar and Kamalasagar. And, both the haats play a crucial role in shaping the economy of the local areas as Indian vendors earn a good sum by selling goods once in a week, called the haat days,” said sources.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the source said, the border haats have been closed down. After situation improved, officials who are responsible for management of the haats have tried to open talks with the Bangladesh authorities.

“We have tried to initiate talks with the Bangladesh authorities to reopen the border haats but they are unwilling to speak right nos. Most probably, in apprehensions of further rise in the COVID-19 cases, Bangladesh wants to delay the process a bit. They have given us verbal assurance that if situation permits, the haats will be reopened soon”, added the source.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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