On the cards: Motor vehicles pact to make trade easier ahead of PM Modi’s Bangladesh visit
Ahead of PM Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in June, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar Saturday said discussions are going on about a motor vehicles agreement between India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s visit to Bangladesh in June, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar Saturday said discussions are going on about a motor vehicles agreement between India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, as an initiative under sub-regional cooperation. The agreement, if it comes through, will allow trucks to travel between these countries and make trade easier.
Jaishankar, who was speaking at the 6th India-Bangladesh friendship dialogue, said, “Possibilities are immense under the regional and sub-regional cooperation. The motor vehicles agreement is being negotiated for the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal).” A meeting of senior officials has already taken place in this regard, he added.
This assumes significance as Pakistan had last November blocked the agreement, citing domestic processes.
Jaishankar, when asked about the Teesta water-sharing deal, said, “Discussions are underway. Normally, when discussions are ongoing, it is prudent not to comment.”
Bangladesh Minister of State Shahriar Alam expressed hope that the Teesta water-sharing issue will be resolved in a “win-win” manner. Addressing the event, Alam said that Modi has generated “new hope” in the region and Bangladesh wants to benefit from it.
The Teesta deal was set to be inked during former PM Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in 2011 but was postponed at the last minute due to objections by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Teesta water is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March, when water flow temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs every year.
Source:: Indian Express