Nepal and India today agreed to expedite work on Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) that would help smoothen Nepal’s cross border trade.

The first integrated check post – along Nepal-India border in Birgunj may come into operation as early as February next year – that will help provide immigration, customs check, quarantine, freight forwarding, information and communication technology management, financial institutions, post offices and other facilities under one roof so as to facilitate the movement of passengers and goods.

The construction of ICP in Birgunj is almost 45 per cent complete, while work on the Indian side of Raxaul is almost 85 per cent complete, but the Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj ones need to be expedited.

Indian has been helping construct all the four ICPs on both sides of the border,

While Nepal will provide the land for the ICPs, India will construct the four ICPs according to the agreement both the countries have signed in 2009.

Nepali delegation – led by the secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development Kishor Thapa and the Indian team – headed by the secretary of border management Sneh Lata Kumar – discussed today in New Delhi on expediting the construction and reviewed the progress.

The Indian government has earmarked IRs 1.20 billion for the Biratnagar-Jogbani customs, while, IRs 340 million each has been allocated for the Birgunj-Raxaul customs and the Bhairahawa-Sunauli customs, and IRs 290 million has been estimated for the Nepalgunj-Rupaidiya customs.

India has been constructing a total of 13 ICPs on its neighbouring countries’ – including Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan – borders to facilitate bilateral trade.

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