Bangladesh not yet ready to give India transit: QuaderStaff Correspondent
The commerce minister, Ghulam Muhammed Quader, on Saturday said that Bangladesh was not ready to give India transit now considering the dilapidated condition of roads in Bangladesh.
‘We are in discussion with India about transit. They [India] are ready to pay fees for transit. But, I do not think it will be right to give transit to India now because of poor condition of our infrastructure and transport system,’ he said at a seminar on ‘Re-export: New Opportunity for Bangladesh’.
He said that Bangladesh did not have any seaport and both Chittagong and Mongla ports were river ports.
‘If we can build a deep seaport, it will not only expand trade with India but also in the region,’ he said at the seminar organised by the Dhaka Chamber and Commerce Industry and the Business Initiative Leasing Development at the DCCI auditorium.
Although business leaders and trade experts at the seminar requested the government to implement the ‘re-export’ provision stipulated in the national export policy, Quader pointed that the infrastructure problems continued to be the barrier to the re-export.
DCCI president Asif Ibrahim that although ‘re-export’ provision was incorporated in the export policies since 2003, the system could not be implemented because of unexplained reasons.
In the existing export policy re-export has been defined as the export of an imported product within a specific period of time with a value addition of at least 10 per cent to the imported price by changing the quality or shape of the product by means of local reprocessing.
Asif said that re-export had the potential to facilitate trades with landlocked Nepal, Bhutan and the north-eastern provinces of India.
He said that the different government agencies like National Board of Revenue and custom houses would need to be made aware of re-export and proper cooperation and coordination should be ensured among these agencies.
He urged the government to set up re-export zones like the export processing zones or special economic zones.
In response to the business leaders’ demands, the commerce minister said that proper infrastructure including roads, transport and seaport facility was very essential for re-export.
‘Inefficient bureaucracy is also a barrier to facilitating re-export and the country’s development,’ he added.
MS Siddiqui, co-convener of standing committee on export of DCCI, presented the key note paper at the programme.
Bangladesh Tariff Commission chairman Md Mozibur Rahman, Export Promotion Bureau vice-chairman Shubhashish Bose, CPD senior research fellow Khondoker Golam Moazzem and DCCI director Ashraf Uddin spoke, among others, at the seminar.
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