PM seeks use of Indian territory to import electricity from Bhutan

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UNB :
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday callef for the Indian assistance to import electricity from Bhutan using Indian territory.

The prime minister said this while Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma called on her at her official residence Ganabhaban.

PM’s speech writer M Nazrul Islam briefed the reporters after the call on.
“The prime minister has sought support from the Indian side to import electricity from Bhutan smoothly,” he said.

Nazrul mentioned that Bangladesh will import electricity from Bhutan and an agreement in this regard will be signed during the upcoming visit of thr Bhutanese King scheduled on March 25.

According to informed sources Bangladesh initially plans to import around 1,500MW of electricity from Bhutan with discussion between both sides almost finalised.

PM Hasina also urged the Indian government to remove his country’s anti-dumping measurers in the import of jute and jute goods from Bangladesh.
She mentioned that India could modernise the Syedpur Railway Worksop.

The prime minister told the envoy that Bangladesh has achieved unprecedentef development because of a continuous democratic system in the country.

She mentioned that after the assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujubur Rahman and until before the 1996 the victor in the national election used to be decided by a “certain quarter.”

That’s why, Hasina said, despite having public support the Awami League could not win the 1991 election.

“But in 1996, the same quarter bowed down to the desire of the mass people. That year Awami League for the first time had won the election breaking the vicious cycle,” she said.

HC Pranay Verma mentioned that last year a total of four projects were implemented in Bangladesh under the Indian Line of Credit (LOC).

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“And two more projects are in the pipeline for the implementation,” he said.
He told the PM that some groundbreaking initiatives of the two countries like bilateral trade transactions in Rupee-Taka, digital payment network and Bangabandhu Biopic.

The Indian high commissioner said that India is committed to taking forward the negotiations for Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEPA) aggrenent between the two countries.

He also said CEPA would be helpful after Bangladesh graduates to a developing economy in 2026. He said that new thinking and discussions are going on to prepare a new framework for the LOC to make it project-based.

In the power and energy sector India expressed its willingness to establish a high-power grid line among Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal for transmitting power easily to any part the four countries.

He also said that there is a move to extend the diesel pipeline up to Natore from Syedpur to import diesel from India.

Verma said that world famous defence industries are relocating their factories in India.

He said that Bangladesh could set up a defence factory in Bangladesh with Indian joint venture.

He conveyed greetings from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sheikh Hasina.

He invited PM Hasina to visit India after his country’s national elections and she accepted the invitation, said Nazrul. The Indian high commissioner mentioned that they are interested to set up an office in Rangpur.

The prime minister replied that the government would consider the proposal after examining it. PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah was present at the meeting.