State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdury said on Monday operations of land ports in the country along with their law-enforcers and customs officials concerned are required to be brought under one umbrella for smooth and efficient functioning of the ports.
There are many organs in land port operations, which belong to different ministries and divisions. The gaps (among these organs) need to be minimised for ensuring more efficient operations of the land ports," he said while speaking at a virtual discussion on the occasion of 20th anniversary of the Bangladesh Land Port Authority (BLPA).
The BLPA organised the webinar titled "The role of land ports in the country's economic progress: Challenges and potentials."
The state minister also said Bangladesh has enormous potentials to derive from the land ports, if their services become more business friendly, digitalised and hassle-free.
Manual operations of the country's land ports in the age of digitalisation are painful for the service takers. So, the land ports are getting digitalised, and subsequently their operations would be free from harassments, he noted.
The state minister expressed hope that the land ports can make promise afresh on the occasion of (the BLPA's) 20th anniversary to play more important role in the country's development.
Shipping Secretary Mesbah Uddin Cowdury said diversity has increased in the country's economy, so there needs to be more focus on the land ports in the Eastern region.
He opined that the only land port with Myanmar should be developed more to explore businesses in the Eastern frontier.
The Eastern regions of India also have enormous potentials of business for Bangladesh. The development of land ports in the Eastern region can play key role in these new developments, he added.
The Financial Express (FE) Editor Shah Husain Imam said the BLPA has been increasing its important role by 'leaps and bounds', and quietly to some extent.
He noted that the contribution of the land ports in the country's economy is impressive, and their success is tremendous. Coordination among the stakeholders concerned in the land port operations is crucial, among other challenges.
The FE Editor also praised the BLPA for having a vision of regional and inter-regional connectivity and implementing it gradually.
Md Alamgir, the BLPA Chairman and chair of the programme, said the authority has taken preparations in the last 20 years, and now it is moving forward to a greater success.
He said the BLPA has achieved a lot in the last 20 years, (expanding) from one port to 12 now.
The chairman expressed commitment to do better in the future, and hoped that all (concerned) will work under one umbrella (the BLPA) for better operation.
Former BLPA chairmen, different stakeholders, and business representative were present in the virtual discussion.