Transit of Indian goods inaugurates

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Ashuganj June 16: Shipping minister Shajahan Khan has formally inaugurated the transit and transshipment under the protocol on inland water transit and trade (PIWTT) agreement on Thursday.

Financially Bangladesh will be benefited through this transit and transshipment, Shajahan Khan said after inaugurating the programme.

“Bangladeshi cargos will carry the maximum transshipment Indian goods. So, it would help to create employment and the country will earn revenue from this sector,” he observed.

Rail link would be installed between Bangladesh’s Akhaura and India for smooth transit and transshipment of goods to the Indian north-eastern states.

The Indian government would provide all necessary logistic support for the infrastructure development including construction of an inland container terminal (ICT) at Ashuganj.

Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla came up with the comments while addressing at an inaugural programme on transit and transshipment of goods to India’s north-eastern states through Bangladesh held at Ashuganj river port.

Shipping minister Shajahan Khan has formally inaugurated the transit and transshipment under the protocol on inland water transit and trade (PIWTT) agreement.

Among others, Prime Minister’s adviser Mashiur Rahman, local lawmakers RAM Ubaidul Muktadir Chowdhury and Ziaul Haque Mridha, NBR chairman Nazibur Rahman, shipping secretary Ashok Madhab Roy and chairman of BIWTA Commodore M Mozammel Huq also spoke on the occasion.

Terming the inaugural ceremony as ‘historic moment’ both for Bangladesh and India, the Indian high commissioner said, adding, “I want to give thanks to the people of Bangladesh and the government for giving us access into Bangladesh for transit and transshipment of Indian goods to carry north-eastern states via Ashuganj.”

Harsh Vardhan Shringla said Bangladesh and Indian state Tripura had historical and emotional bondage.

“The people of Tripura will be benefited through this transit and transshipment facilities. Besides, the Indian government will provide financial assistance to construct an ICT at Ashuganj including development of roads and rail link to Akhaura,” the Indian envoy to Bangladesh said.

Financially Bangladesh will be benefited through this transit and transshipment, Shajahan Khan said after inaugurating the programme.

“Bangladeshi cargos will carry the maximum transshipment Indian goods. So, it would help to create employment and the country will earn revenue from this sector,” he observed.

The ruling party Awami League is always maintains the friendship with India, PM’s economic adviser Mashiur Rahman said.

“The other political parties except AL don’t want to good relationship with India. India always paid a fixed amount for the development of waterways annually,” he added.

It is needed to open new routes in a bid to increase trades by developing smooth communications, Rahman further said.

“A golden door for possible revenue earning has opened today following the transit and transshipment,” NBR chairman Najibur Rahman said.

A total of 900km-long waterways would be dredged to keep its navigable depth 8-metres round the year, Ashok Madhab Roy said.

“We will dredge the waterways in Dhaka, Chittagong and Ashuganj to transport goods smoothly both in protocol routes,” he added.

A Bangladeshi ship carrying 1,000 tonnes of iron rods reached at Ashuganj on Wednesday, which will be transported to the north-eastern Indian state of Tripura.

According to the BIWTA, the government has fixed a transshipment fee of Tk. 192.25 per tonne. Of the fee, BIWTA will get Tk 10 per tonne, roads and highways Tk 52.22 and the remaining taka will go to NBR fund as revenue, sources said.

The government has signed the PIWTT between Bangladesh and India on November 1, 1972.

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