Talks before fixing rules
The government will organise seminars and brainstorming sessions to discuss and present study reports on transit with India, Nepal and Bhutan.
A core group was formed to decide by December 25 on the issues for the brainstorming sessions starting at the end of this month, Commerce Secretary Golam Hossain said after an inter-ministerial meeting yesterday.
Four experts will be appointed to figure out the transit and transhipment fees, identify probable corridors and routes, and assess the possible pressure on the traffic system and other environmental issues.
They will present study reports in the in-house brainstorming sessions.
A daylong session is likely to be held on December 27, said the commerce secretary.
The finance minister and the prime minister's adviser on economic affairs, among others, are expected to attend the sessions, he said.
The core group, headed by Tariff Commission Chairman Dr Malibu Rahman, includes representatives from the National Board of Revenue and the foreign, shipping, commerce, and communication ministries, the finance division and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Former director of UN ESCAP and transport expert M Rahmatullah, Vice Chairman of Policy Research Institute Sadiq Ahmed, Prof Ayubur Rahman of Economics Department at Dhaka University, and a researcher from BIDS are likely to be appointed as experts, commerce ministry officials said.
Rahmatullah conducted several studies on regional cooperation and connectivity in the region while working for the ESCAP. Sadiq Ahmed, a former high-up of the World Bank, also headed up several studies on the issues.
A team led by Dr Rahmatullah had prepared two draft reports on transit and transhipment -- one for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the other for the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
Policy Research Institute has been conducting a study on the issues. It is at the final stage.
On November 9, it was decided that a committee headed by a representative of the commerce ministry would be formed to lay the necessary rules and fix transit and transhipment fees. The decision came at a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair.