India, Bangladesh agree on coastal shipping
Government sources said that the agreement was finalised during a secretary-level talk held at New Delhi on Friday. The arrangement would allow River Sea Vessels (RSV) to carry cargo between the two neighbouring countries.
In terms of berthing charges and lighterage dues, both the countries would extend 'national treatment’ to one another.
“The commencement of coastal shipping between the two countries would give a boost to export-import trade between India and Bangladesh,” a top Indian official said.
Earlier, both the countries had also agreed on extending the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) with the provision of automatic renewal.
This is in line with the proposed amendment to the Bangladesh-India trade agreement. “This will out PIWTT on automatic renewal after five years,” the official in India’s ministry of shipping said.
With regard to development of entire protocol route under regional IDA assistance of World Bank, the Bangladesh side agreed to revert after obtaining approval of the concerned authorities back home.
It was also agreed between the two countries that a draft agreement for the regular movement of passengers and cruise vessels would be shared by India with Bangladesh through diplomatic channels. ■