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Ensure nat’l interest in providing transhipment to India

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07th-Dec-2019       
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INDIA is set to start in January the trial run for transporting goods between its northeastern states and other parts using Bangladesh's Chattogram and Mongla ports. The details of the charges and other fees, to be received by Bangladesh, would be finalised before the first trial run. The Indian side asked for two more transhipment points in Bangladesh for transportation of goods. The points are in Munshiganj's Muktarpur and Dhaka's Pangaon.
During the trial run, goods from Kolkata would be transported to Chattogram Port through the sea route. Later, those would be carried to the Indian state of Tripura by road via Akhaura land port in Bangladesh, said the officials who attended the two-day inter-governmental secretary-level meeting between the two countries in Dhaka on Thursday.  Bangladesh and India are signatories of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). According to the GATT principle, no custom duties will be applicable for carrying Indian goods. Fees and charges levied on transit movements are subject to GATT and WTO provisions.
The two countries had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the use of the Chattogram and Mongla Ports in 2015, following years of persuasion from India. Subsequently, the countries signed an agreement last year and a Standard operating Procedure (SoP) during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India in October this year.
It is essential that our charges are fixed properly so that we don't lose out on the deal. We must ensure that we get the best possible deals for our side as our highways will wear out more easily due to the high volume of traffic of the Indian goods. So we must ensure that the wear and tear caused by the additional tonnage of goods must complement the charges so that we can repair the damage to our highways.
Additionally other ways to tranship must be found -- preferably circumventing Dhaka. No amount of money is going to compensate for the horrible congestion Dhaka residents currently undergo. So even if they were to pass through Dhaka it should be at certain times --- not before 2 am and only upto 6 am so that congestion is not further created. We must ensure that our national interests are not harmed in any way.

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