Saif Powertec signs MoU with Kolkata port
Saif Powertec Limited, a local provider of logistics and container supply chain management services, has agreed to facilitate the transport of goods from mainland India to remote north-eastern states of the neighbouring nation.
Saif Powertec yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this end with Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, a statutory body of the Indian government responsible for operating Kolkata port.
The move comes in a bid to reduce the time and cost of transporting cargo from mainland India to north-eastern states of the country by cutting through Bangladesh mainly using Chattogram port.
In addition, the MoU aims to promote bilateral trade by providing a one-stop solution using multimodal transport via land, sea and river routes, according to a press release.
Tarafder Md Ruhul Amin, managing director of Saif Powertec, said they would deploy two ships in February next year to transport cargo from Kolkata to seaports in Bangladesh.
"We will then transport the cargo under our supervision to the north-eastern part of India," Amin added after signing the contract in Kolkata.
India is eager to begin regular cargo transits using seaports in Bangladesh as the land route between Kolkata and key cities in northeast states is more than 1,200 kilometres.
As such, using the Chattogram and Mongla ports for transiting goods will cut the distance to a great extent while also reducing costs, Amin said.
Bangladesh and India had previously signed an "Agreement on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for Movement of Goods to and from India" in 2018.
Meanwhile, a Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for implementing the agreement was later signed on October 5 the following year.
As per the SoP, goods that reach Chattogram and Mongla would be carried by four road, rail, and water routes to the Indian land ports in Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam.
So far, five trial runs for transiting Indian goods between Kolkata, Assam and Meghalaya using the Chattogram and Mongla seaports have been completed.
In April this year, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued a standing order regarding the transhipment of Indian goods under the agreement.
Amin said Saif Powertec plans to set up an office in Kolkata to facilitate the transit of cargo from the supplier's door to consignee's end through ports of Kolkata, Chattogram and Mongla.
"This will save time and cost, benefiting people of India's northeast. Bangladesh will also get revenue from the multimodal transport," he added.