India-Bangladesh water protocol (amend) proposal okayed
18 May 2015, Nirapad News: The government has approved the draft proposal of Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) (amendment) between Bangladesh and India.
The approval came from the cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, held on Monday noon at secretariat. At present, the validity of this Protocol has been extended by five years in stead of three years.
Earlier, the protocol was signed between two nations. Now third party has been added targeting Nepal and Bhutan.
After the meeting, cabinet division secretary (coordination and reform) Nazrul Islam made the disclosure while talking to reporters.
An Inland water transit and trade protocol exists between India and Bangladesh under which inland vessels of one country can transit through the specified routes of the other country.
The existing protocol routes are (i) Kolkata-Pandu-Kolkata, (ii) Kolkata-Karimganj – Kolkata, (iii) Rajshahi-Dhulian-Rajshahi and (iv) Pandu-Karimganj-Pandu.
For inter-country trade, four ports of call have been designated in each country namely; Haldia, Kolkata, Pandu and Karimganj in India and Narayanganj, Khulna, Mongla and Sirajganj in Bangladesh.
Under the Protocol, 50:50 cargo sharing by Indian and Bangladeshi vessels is permitted both for transit and inter country trade.