Will transit through Bangladesh take our economy forward? Krishna Kumar Saha
National Desk
January 17, 2020, 12:10 am

Assistant Professor Krishna Kumar Saha of Comilla University said that after coming to power in 2009, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized the Dhaka-Delhi relationship and told her cabinet members to take the relationship to a new horizon. The strategic relationship between Bangladesh and India has risen to the present. The first output of this relationship arrives in November 2010. This time, India and Bangladesh are for the first time

Like signing a transit agreement. The first protocol for this agreement was signed in 2015. According to this protocol, India is allowed to use four rivers through Bangladesh, which will connect Kolkata and Murshidabad with Assam, Tripura, and Meghalaya. However, the roads and ports needed to use these rivers are not yet ready and Indian traders are not using this route regularly.

The Kolkata-Ashuganj-Akhaura riverbed was opened in June 2016. After launching, only 13 cargo vessels used this route and paid Tk 28 lakh as a transit fee to the government of Bangladesh. During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in October 2019, the two countries decided to use a river from Dhulian in Murshidabad to Rajshahi and Sonamura in Tripura. On the other hand, these two countries.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2015 and in 2018 an agreement was signed by India on the use of Chittagong and Mongla ports. India is strategically planning to establish connectivity in its three northeastern terrain-bound states, Assam, Tripura, and Meghalaya. A standard operating procedure (SOP) was signed during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in October 2019.

Accordingly, the goods which India wants to send to Assam, Tripura, and Meghalaya will first reach Chittagong and Mongla ports. From these seaports, goods will be taken to specific destinations on the roads, boats, and railways, for which routes have been specified. For example, Assam will use the Sutarkandi route to transport goods to Assam. The Agartala-Akhaura (Railway) and Srimantpur-Bibir Bazar routes are used to transport goods to Tripura.

And will be used for transporting goods to Meghalaya. Through this, the three landlocked states will have access to open sea trade routes using Chittagong and Mongla ports. So far, three loan agreements worth $ 7.5 billion have been signed with India, the bulk of which will be used to connect Bangladesh through Assam, Tripura, and Meghalaya.

In addition to infrastructure development. Bangladesh is also building a Gulf Terminal at Chittagong port, upgrading the Mongla port, and construction of Ramchar-Bariarhat, Comilla-Brahmanbaria-Sarail and Ashuganj river ports-Sarail-Dharkhar-Khakharakha for Ahakharakh. Additional internal container river port at Ashuganj, Khulna-Darshan junction with money Double the railway line and

Work is underway to upgrade the meter gauge line from Parbatipur to Kaunia. In addition, the Government of Bangladesh is creating a special economic zone in the Indian Economic Area and Keraniganj in Mongla, Veramara and Mirsarai with the same money.
We should also keep in mind that there is a motor vehicle agreement between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. This agreement is effective

Once done, the movement of vehicles between these countries will be hampered. It will help people-to-people connectivity in the region like the European Union, and expand trade and communication between Bangladesh and the region. Not only India’s northeast but Nepal and Bhutan are also landlocked.
They need to use our port. However, the Mongla port is more convenient for Nepal and Bhutan. Foreign ships

Both of our ports are used for trade with Bangladesh. In India, transit through Bangladesh is associated with the use of ports. This type of contract has been in the subcontinent since the partition of the country. The concept of ‘multimodality’ in the world of transportation is relatively new to us. This means transporting goods from one country to another using any convenient route between roads, railways and inland vessels.

In this case, Bangladesh and India will have to store the goods for some time. To provide this facility, it is necessary to set up warehouses in transit countries. This is a large process, which requires intensive planning. Besides, the whole thing should be together. Bangladesh is planning one after another. Currently, Bangladesh is improving the roads which connect the ports to the boarders

Will do India is also developing a rail network. The benefit of the Government of Bangladesh is that India will pay a fee or charge for the use of our ports, inland routes, roads, and railways. According to experts, Bangladesh can now charge fees for Indian goods transported through Bangladesh and increase the export volume of the country. According to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of Chittagong and Mongla ports, the product

Cargo will be exempted from tax or duty excluding the administrative management fees and other charges prescribed by the Intergovernmental Committee for Transport. Fees and other charges will be admissible in accordance with the provisions of the General Agreement on Customs and Trade. Fees and other charges will be payable in accordance with the provisions of the General Agreement on Customs and Trade. However, both countries can agree on more favorable terms as part of a special trade agreement.

Under the shipping protocol, Bangladesh charges Tk 277 per tonne of goods. Of this, Rs 50 and Rs 5 are taken for security and anchoring at the jetty. The committee of the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of Bangladesh recommended Tk 1,058 per ton. However, this recommendation was not accepted as the proposals were not based on empirical research and the officials of both countries later determined the amount to be 277.

Did. Now a strong anti-Indian group in Bangladesh is trying to portray the use of this transit and port as a loss of sovereignty. I think this is not right and those who believe in it are blind. If India uses transit facilities, there will be new jobs, infrastructure, roads, warehouses, rail connections and more. And if these benefits improve

Under these, new factories will be created. This means it will directly contribute to our national economy and job creation.
In addition, local transport companies will benefit while transporting goods across the country, and economic zones must be connected to roads, railways, and waterways, which will help expand the industry. If we do not make it easy to do business in Bangladesh to attract foreign investment

But other countries will use our transportation network to boost their economy and we will be harmed. Such claims are made by Assistant Professor Krishna Kumar Saha, Department of Public Administration, Comilla University.

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