Hasina wants speedy implementation of Delhi meeting decisions

Hasina wants speedy implementation of Delhi meeting decisions

The New Age newspaper quoting officials at the Prime Minister's Office said the directive came at a meeting of the secretaries of the relevant ministries in which the top bureaucrats were also asked to prepare progress reports on implementation status.
Improving road connectivity with India, allowing water transit through Ashuganj port, power trade, providing loans pledged by New Delhi and duty-free access of Bangladeshi commodities to Indian market were the key areas covered by the joint communique issued by Hasina and Singh.

The Prime Minister's economic affairs adviser Mashiur Rahman chaired the meeting during which he conveyed to them Hasina's directives, asking the bureaucrats to undertake maximum efforts to implement the decisions and sit with each other to work out ways to remove hurdles.

Official familiar with the meeting said a tripartite or four-party meeting involving Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan was likely to be organised to make arrangement for direct transport services.

"Such a meeting can pave the way for understanding and working out a modality for introduction of something like direct bus services. Bangladesh or Bhutan can convince India to agree to transit for the land-locked Himalayan state," said an official.

The official said that the economic relations division had been asked to contact the Indian side about how Bangladesh could receive a USD 100 million loan pledged by the India.
The Shipping Ministry has been asked to prepare its report on use of Ashuganj port for transport of Indian goods as per the communique.

Currently, a joint team is assessing the state of infrastructure on the spot for transport of 'over dimensional cargo' from Ashuganj to Agartala.The meeting could not give any directives on duty-free access of 47 Bangladeshi items to Indian market.However, denying having any such list, a source in the Commerce Ministry said Dhaka would now focus on reduction in the number of Bangladeshi items in India's negative list for getting market access at zero duty.

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