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Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh

Published in Daily Sun on Tuesday, 2 June 2015.

Modi Visit
‘Proposed deals lack comprehensiveness’

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh may not reap the benefits from the proposed agreements with India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on June 6-7 as they are ‘splitted’ and lack comprehensiveness, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on Monday.

“The proposed agreements with India are unified. They also lack comprehensiveness for reaping the benefits as per specific goals,” Debapriya said at amedia briefing held at CIRDAP Auditorium to mark the release of State of Bangladesh Economy in FY 2015.

He said there was also absence of transparency in the desired goals from the agreements. Dhaka is preparing for signing a series of agreements during Modi’s visit including use of Shipping Routes and Marine Routes, Road Connectivity, Marine Resource Exploitation and Utilisation, establishing Railway Networks, tariff plans and disbursement and utilization of fresh line of credit and the old one.

“We should think of comprehensive benefits from the agreements with India to attain mid-term and long-term economic goals. To this effect, we must have plans on trade, tariff and investment,” he said. “We should first think of standard tariff plans.”

He said the tariff plan should include beneficial provision for transporting goods to a territory of same country through a second country. “It also needs to be decided what will be the tariff structures for carrying goods to a third country through a second country from the country of origin.

For example, goods originated from India being transported to Singapore of Thailand using Bangladesh marine and shipping routes.

And, as if how much Bangladesh would pay India for carrying goods to Nepal using Indian territory,” he pointed out. He said Bangladesh does not need credit for buying bus or truck to carry goods imported from India.

“We need strong infrastructures for meeting our growing demand,” he added.

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