Dhaka, Delhi to upgrade body to speed up LoC projects

FM-level talks today

Shahidul Islam Chowdhury | Published: 00:18, Sep 29,2020


Bangladesh and India would upgrade a bilateral mechanism set for accelerating the implementation of the projects commenced under the four lines of credit from India.

In a joint consultative commission meeting today, the foreign ministers of the two countries are likely to finalise the elevation of the bilateral committee from the joint secretary level to the secretary level with representation from both sides, officials said.

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar are set to co-chair the meeting and lead their respective delegations in the talks.

Removal of nontariff barriers, including testing, on trade from Bangladesh, connectivity, transportation of goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations of framework on water sharing of the seven common rivers and signing of a deal on the Teesta River, availability of pandemic vaccine, creating air-bubbles for easing air travel between the two countries and border killing would, among others, be discussed, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen told New Age on Monday.   

The Economic Relations Division secretary is likely to head the upgraded body to oversee the implementation of the projects under the four LOCs worth US$8.5 billion.

Celebration of the fifty years of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and India and unveiling of postage stamps on the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi would also be discussed in the meeting.

The foreign, commerce, home, water and Economic Relations Division secretaries and the Bangladesh high commissioner to India, among others, would join the virtual talks from the Bangladesh side.

It would be the sixth JCC meeting.

There was, however, no progress on at least three major issues the Bangladesh side raised in the fifth foreign minister-level talks under the JCC platform — signing an agreement on sharing of Teesta River water, extending India’s cooperation in peaceful resolution of the Rohingya crisis and the issue of border killing by the Indian Border Security Force, according to officials at the water, home and disaster management and relief ministries.

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