With the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol on Inland Water transit and trade, the trade between India and Bangladesh will improve. Union minister of state ports and shipping MansukhMandaviya on Thursday said that, the protocol will also promote better connectivity with other neighbouring countries. Union minister, in his message to Bengal chamber of commerce and industry, mentioned that the protocol route is being operationalized. For the movement of goods between north east and neighbouring country, Bhutan using Chittagong port through National waterways-2 has been tested. The Indo-Bangladesh protocol route will use NW-1 as well as NW-2 on the Indian side, according to PTI report. As reported by union minister of state for ports and shipping, to smoothen trade in coming days, this water way will connect land locked countries such as Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar. Mandaviya further added that, Sittwe Port has been developed for greater connectivity for goods as well as cargo movement in Myanmar. Huge trucks ply for Indian Oil along with other refiners for transporting cargo between Haldia and the city of Kolkata and not use waterways, the report records that chairperson of Inland Waterways of India, Amita Prasad was wondered about the above fact.
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Republic of India have a long standing as well as time-tested Protocol on Transit and Trade through Inland Waterways of both nations, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways had said last year. According to ministry, this protocol ( signed first on 1972) is a result of friendship and shared history between the two nations. The protocol was first renewed in 2015 for a period of 5 years, this provides a long term assurance to stake holders.