Provide transit facilities to India: Bangla leader

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New Delhi, Jul 27: Dr Kamal Hossain, former Foreign Minister of Bangaldesh, has asked the present government of his country to provide transit facilities to India in view of the whopping revenue gain to Bangladesh to the tune of one billion dollars annually.

As of now Bangladesh does not allow transit facilities to Indian vehicular traffic. Movement of goods from the North Eastern part to the rest of the country takes much longer than it would if transit facilities are allowed by Bangladesh. The cost of transporting goods in such cases would come down substantially. There are compelling objective reasons to operationalise Indo-Bangladesh connectivity," Dr Hossain said in an interview to CFTV Editor Suhas Borker here, Citizens First TV(CFTV) specialises in making documentaries and providing content on South Asian issues.

Dr Hossain's remarks assume significance in view of the SAARC Summit in Colombo next month. The Bangladesh leader was in India to attend the 'Regional Conference on deepening South Asian Economic integration.' The event was jointly organsied by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries(RIS), a think tank of the External Affairs Ministry.

Dr Hossain's statement came to a poser that Bangladesh stands to gain by way of one billion dollars in revenue if it provides transit facilites to India.

"There is need to re-think on the subject," he said.

The estimate has been made recently by the RIS in its Report'South Asian Development and Co-operation' released by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Dr Hussain said words like 'transit' need to be discarded as they evoke a past of suspicion and mistrust.

He said connectivity was the basis of regional integration and a win-win situation for all South Asian nations.

Dr Hussain said that this was the single most important lesson that needs to be drawn from the integration of Europe and the emergence of European Union as an entity.


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