Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Industries in Pasakha can now export the finished products from the Allay Land Customs Station (LCS).

The Government of India (GoI) allowed movement of vehicles from the LCS since August 19. With this route in use, industrial trucks with export goods will not have to come to Phuentsholing. From Allay LCS, the trucks can directly connect to Bibarey on the Indian side.

Prior to this, the LCS, which commenced on July 15, just allowed Pasakha-bound industrial trucks to enter, which means it allowed only the import of raw materials.

GoI has also allowed two-way movement of other goods and supplies via this LCS.

A press release from the Embassy of India in Thimphu stated: “Acting in response to an urgent request received from the Royal Government of Bhutan, the GoI has allowed both the import and export of goods to be facilitated via the LCS at Allay, Pasakha on the India-Bhutan border with effect from August 19, 2020.”

India’s prompt decision to allow Bhutan to begin exporting goods to India through Allay, it stated will mitigate “any disruption in the movement of goods between the two countries arising from the recent outbreak of Covid-19 at Phuentsholing.”

It highlighted that “Bhutan is India’s closest partner and friend and India’s response in record time is a reflection of the special bonds of trust and understanding between India and Bhutan that have existed over decades.”

India would continue to extend all possible support to Bhutan to minimise the health and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the press release said.

Industrial trucks carrying ferrosilicon have already started to move.

There is not a single Covid-19 case from Pasakha. The industries are also operating.

Factory workers are confined to individual factory premises.

An official from a ferrosilicon factory said that although the plant was operating, the raw materials had almost exhausted.

An official from another ferrosilicon industry said that the factory had stock of raw materials to last for about a month.