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Bangla aid on its way

india Updated: Nov 24, 2007 00:24 IST
HT Political Bureau
HT Political Bureau
Hindustan Times
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Additional consignments of relief material for the cyclone-affected people of Bangladesh are slated to leave for Dhaka shortly, an Indian External Affairs Ministry official said.

An IAF IL-76 aircraft carrying the first part of New Delhi’s aid for relief of the victims in Bangladesh comprising, tents, ready to eat food, medicines, water purifying kits and blankets reached Dhaka on Thursday. Two more consignments are slated to be sent over the weekend, the official said.

India had announced a comprehensive relief package of $1 million and waived the ban on export of rice overseas to enable Bangladesh to procure 50,000 tonnes of rice from India.

India had last month also sent a consignment of 9,298 metric tones of rice to Bangladesh at a total cost of Rs 13 crore as aid for the floods in July this year.

This was part of another package announced by the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at a request of the Bangladesh government for assistance in wake of the floods in Chittagong.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had initially extended $10 million (Rs 41 crore) emergency cash assistance for relief and rehabilitation to flood victims in Bangladesh.

The money was handed over to Dhaka in September.

Mukherjee had subsequently cleared an additional package which committed India to supply 40,000 metric tonnes of rice, 10,000 MT of wheat and 1,000 MT of milk powder for the flood victims.

Border Security Force officials who last month went to Dhaka for the director general level talks with Bangladesh Rifles said the gesture had been appreciated in Bangladesh. “This was one gesture that helped build goodwill for India,” a BSF official in Delhi said.