Bangladesh offers transit facilities
Bangladesh has offered transit facility to Nepal for importing petroleum products from third nations against the backdrop of acute fuel crisis in the Himalayan country resulting from a blockade of its border with India.
The government here is ready to allow Nepal to use Mongla and Chittagong ports for import of fuel and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), said Bangladesh Ambassador to Nepal Mashfee Binte while speaking at an interaction organised by Reporters Club Nepal on Monday.
Nepal, however, has shown interest in importing aviation turbine fuel from Bangladesh, according to diplomatic sources.
The country has been facing acute shortage of petroleum products and cooking gas for the last two months due to the blockade of key trade points at Nepal-India border by the Madhesi ethnic group protesting the new constitution.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina renewed her offer of transit facility through Saidpur airport, Chittagong and Mongla ports for transportation of goods to Nepal when outgoing Nepalese Ambassador Hari Kumar Shrestha called on her on Sunday, a senior official at the foreign ministry told The Daily Star.
Asked about Nepal's request for supply of aviation fuel, another official said Bangladesh was also positive regarding this issue.
He, however, declined to elaborate further.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh ambassador to Nepal at the interaction said Nepalese cargo trucks could enter Bangladesh without any obstruction but Bangladeshi trucks were not easily allowed into Nepal.
She pointed out the need for an immediate motor vehicle agreement between the two countries.
"Since there is already a railway service extension up to Rohanpur, Singha Durbar and Radhikapur, Nepal can import and export goods by capitalising on this route," Mashfee said.
She also expressed her belief that the Nepal government would endorse Bangladesh's proposal to allow export of 208 items from Nepal to Bangladesh on zero tariff.