DHAKA: Bangladesh agreed in principle to allow transit facilities to landlocked Himalayan country Nepal, as the present government moves to turn the country’s seaports into a regional shipping hub.
A draft agreement was finalized Thursday at a secretary-level meeting of the two countries in Dhaka.
"The transit agreement will be signed in February or March in Kathmandu once the highest levels of both the countries assent to," Mohammad Golam Hossain, Secretary of Bangladeshi Ministry of Commerce, said at a joint press briefing.
Nepalese Commerce and Supply Secretary Purushottam Ojha was present at the briefing.
As per the draft agreement, Nepalese freight trucks will move from Banglabandha land port to Mongla seaport.
The transit route is Banglabandha-Panchagarh-Thakurgaon-Sayedpur-Rangpur-Bogra-Natore-Dashuria-Paksey-Kushtia-Jhenidah-Khulna-Mongla.
Golam Hossain informed that for using the route Nepal would not need to pay fee for entry of trucks into Bangladesh as per the agreement signed in 1976.
They will have to pay all other sorts of charges for using the route.
But the service charge will be reduced 50 percent for using the government infrastructures, especially the Mongla port.
Golam Hossain said, “Giving transit Bangladesh would not get much benefit. Nepal is a friendly country to Bangladesh--they will be benefited from the transit facility.”
Purushottam Ojha said using the transit Nepal would be more benefited than Bangladesh would.
BDST: 2200 HRS, JULY 15, 2010