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Transit facility to India not now: Dhaka

world Updated: Sep 06, 2011 17:07 IST
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It will not be possible to provide transit facility to India before next year, a senior Bangladesh minister said on Tuesday.

This is because work on the project cannot be completed early, finance minister A M A Muhith was quoted as saying in the Daily Star newspaper.

"We will take time and do not want to do anything in a hurry," Muhith told the daily.

He said deadlines would be set for giving different transit facilities during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Dhaka visit that began Tuesday.

On Sunday, foreign minister Dipu Moni said that no transit deal will be signed during Manmohan Singh's visit.

But a letter of exchange will be signed, which will mention what Bangladesh will do to make transit facilities effective.

The finance minister said the letter of exchange will mention that transit deal will be signed but defining the routes is not possible at this moment. This will be decided mutually, he added.

At present, there are fixed fees for use of river and rail routes but these will be reviewed and charged on the basis of goods and mileage. This will not be fixed every year, Muhith said.

He mentioned that a commission formed to look into these issues was yet to submit its final report.

Nepal and Bhutan will also be allowed to use the two sea ports of Bangladesh -- Chittagong and Mongla. A meeting with the two countries is likely to be held in November.