India to let Nepal trucks use its territory for Bangladesh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 08, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 08, 2010

India to let Nepal trucks use its territory for Bangladesh

Finance ministers speak on bilateral relations

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M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, right, Economic Relations Division secretary, and TCA Ranganathan, chairman of Exim Bank of India, sign a one-billion dollar loan agreement at a ceremony in Dhaka yesterday. Standing from left: Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, food minister, Pranab Mukherjee, India's finance minister, AMA Muhith, finance minister, and Mashiur Rahman, the prime minister's economic affairs adviser, are also seen.Photo: STAR

India has said it will soon allow trucks from Nepal to enter Bangladesh through the Indian territory.
“We will soon allow trucks from Nepal to enter the Bangladesh side of the land custom station at Banglabandha,” Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told a press conference following a loan signing ceremony yesterday.
Under a credit line agreement, Delhi will lend Dhaka $1 billion for implementation of some projects, particularly in transport and communications sectors.
“The terms of this loan, the largest one in amount India is giving to any country, are extremely favourable,” said Pranab.
Pranab, who was in Dhaka for a brief period, assured Bangladesh of every possible Indian assistance to execute projects, including in the areas of railway infrastructure, supply of coaches, locomotives, buses and dredging.
In response to a query on the Dhaka-Delhi trade gap and tariff and non-tariff barriers, the Indian minister said his country has already decided to allow zero tariff benefits to a large number of items from the least developed countries, including Bangladesh.
“We constantly exercise trade liberalisation,” said Pranab, adding that steps would be taken to remove the tariff barriers, when those are identified, to facilitate access of Bangladesh products to Indian market.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith described as 'utterly false' the opposition's contention that the rate of interest of the Indian $1 billion loan is higher than the World Bank and ADB.
Muhith, who sat next to his Indian counterpart at the press conference, said they (opposition) have signed similar agreements with 5 percent interest and repayment period of 15 years.
Pranab said India is committed to assisting Bangladesh in addressing its priorities for development and in its immediate requirements. In this context, he said Delhi just agreed to export three lakh tonnes of rice and two lakh tonnes of wheat, despite a ban on exports of such commodities.
He said India will revive land customs stations along Tripura and Mizoram borders, build a bridge over river Feni at Sabroom-Ramgarh and strengthen other border infrastructure. Two border haats on Meghalaya border will be set up soon, the Indian minister added.

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