India to Allow Nepal, Bhutan B'desh Ports Access
Monday, 09 August 2010

Foreign minister Dipu Moni has revealed that India will allow Nepal and Bhutan to use Mongla and Chittagong ports to export their products to other countries.

Briefing journalists at the foreign ministry on Sunday, Moni said the Indian government will also finance a railway project from Khulna to Mongla port.

"Khulna-Mongla railway project will also be implemented," she told, when asked whether New Delhi will provide grants to build the new railway tracks, which will directly connect Dhaka with the southwestern port.

Bangladesh Railway had sent a proposal to the Indian government to construct the 76 kilometres rail tracks with grants.

She said Delhi would also let Bangladesh connect with Nepal via India.

"Yes, they will allow Nepal and Bhutan to do third country trade," Moni told reporters.

"Signing of new deals is not necessary for third country trade and can easily be done through a letter of exchange."

She added that the matter was addressed in her meeting with the Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday.

Moni said prime minister Sheikh Hasina during her Delhi visit in January talked with her Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh for allowing Bangladesh to trade with Bhutan and Nepal through Indian territory.

"India will also allow us to connect with Nepal by railway via its territories," she said.

Railway sources said it also forwarded a proposal to the Indian government for its connectivity with Nepal through India.

As per the proposal, Bangladesh sought Indian nod for carrying products to and from Raxaul (India-Nepal border) via India's Jogobani.

Moni said she discussed the issue with Mukherjee too.


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