Bangladeshi and Indian officials will meet here later this month to renew their inland water transit and trade deal. The current deal expires on March 31.
The Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade, aimed at boosting the inland water trade between the two South Asian neighbours, was renewed at a meeting in New Delhi on May 1, 2007, New Age newspaper said quoting foreign ministry sources.
Bangladesh proposed inclusion of Ashuganj as a new port of call, especially for easy transport of Indian goods from Kolkata to Agartala through Bangladesh. This proposal was made during the Dhaka tour of India's Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee last month.
A Bangladeshi official said before finalising the date of renewing the protocol, the technical committee at a meeting will assess all the aspects of the deal by March 10.
The inland water transit protocol was first signed in 1980 under the bilateral trade agreement of 1980 that facilitated mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of the waterways for commerce, maintaining the river routes within each territories a navigable condition.
Later, the protocol was first renewed in 1999, then in 2001 and the last time in 2007.