India announced a credit line of $4.5 billion for Bangladesh, even as the two countries signed 22 pacts after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
1) India announced a concessional credit line of $4.5 billion for the completion of priority sectors in Bangladesh, and another $500 million for buying military equipment. This is the single-highest credit ever announced by India for another country. In total, India has extended $8 billion in credit to Bangladesh over the last six years.
2) Three defence sector pacts were signed in the form of an umbrella framework agreement on various aspects of defence cooperation; a deal between the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, Tamil Nadu, and the Defence Services Command and Staff College at Mirpur, Dhaka, for enhancing cooperation in the field of strategic and operational studies; and an official understanding between the National Defence College in Dhaka and the National Defence College in New Delhi to enhance cooperation in the fields of national security, development and strategic studies.
3) Three other pacts aimed at aiding Bangladesh in various aspects of the civil nuclear energy programme, from setting up nuclear power units to addressing issues related to nuclear safety, were signed.
4) An agreement to boost cyber-security cooperation.
5) A bus service between Kolkata, Khulna and Dhaka.
6) A new passenger train service from Khulna to Kolkata through Petrapole in India and Benapole in Bangladesh.
7) A rail link between Radhikapur and Birol for running goods trains.
8) India will finance a diesel pipeline from Numaligarh to Parbatipur. Indian companies will also ink a long-term agreement with Bangladesh for supplying high-speed diesel.
9) A pact for passenger and cruise services on the coastal and protocol route between the two sides.
10) The Teesta water-sharing pact was not signed. However, this was expected.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday morning. Later, she paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.
Assuring Hasina of an early solution to the Teesta water-sharing issue, Modi said: “Along with our shared land boundaries are our shared rivers. They sustain our peoples and their livelihoods. Resolving the Teesta issue is important for India, for Bangladesh, and for the India-Bangladesh relationship.”
He also described Dhaka’s zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism as an “inspiration”.
In a special gesture, Modi had personally received his Bangladeshi counterpart at the airport on Friday. Hasina is on a four-day official visit to India.