Millennium Post

Dhaka approves draft of new Indo-Bangla water transit protocol

Bangladesh cabinet on Monday approved the draft of a new a five-year water transit protocol with India, allowing passage of goods to a third country using the common rivers after amending an existing arrangement which expired two months ago.

"The proposed amendment suggested, the new <g data-gr-id="20">PIWTT</g> (Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade) will be for five years instead of three as it was in the past... the new agreement will (also) allow Bangladesh to use of common channels for trade with other countries, like Nepal and Bhutan," secretary for Coordination and Reforms affairs of the cabinet division Nazrul Islam told reporters. 

Emerging from the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said the amended protocol kept an option for its automatic renewal if there are no objections from any sides. "The clause for the transport of goods to a third country would be made more specific in the future... (but) Nepal and Bhutan were initially targeted under the protocol considering the benefits of both Bangladesh and India," he said. Bangladesh and India first signed the protocol in 1972 and renewed the arrangement time and again until its expiry on March 31. 

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