Cabinet’s nod to coastal shipping between India, Bangladesh
New Delhi: The government today approved a pact on coastal shipping between India and Bangladesh to facilitate faster and cheaper cargo movement between both the nations.
“The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the agreement on Coastal Shipping between India and Bangladesh to carry out coastal movement of goods between the two countries,” an official statement said.
The benefit of this agreement is that freight charges will come down and improve utilisation of port capabilities between the two country, Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while briefing the media.
It will also help in decongestion of roads especially at the land custom stations/integrated check posts at the Indo-Bangladesh boarder, the statement said.
“The Indian ports serving as trans-shipment ports for Bangladesh cargo will derive benefits by way of enhanced throughput as a result of Indo-Bangladesh coastal trade,” it said.
India and Bangladesh shall render the same treatment to the other country’s vessels as it would have done to its national vessels used in international sea transportation, it added.
The commencement of coastal shipping between India and Bangladesh will increase bilateral trade between the two countries and lower down the cost of transportation of Exim cargo.
India’s trade with Bangladesh has grown rapidly during the past few years and Bangladesh is now India’s largest trade partner in South Asia.
The opening up of the coastal route between India and Bangladesh is expected to provide an alternative route for the transportation of Exim cargo between the two countries, the statement said.
Currently there is no significant cargo movement between sea ports of Bangladesh and India as it is not profitable for the big ocean going vessels to operate between the ports.
Therefore, to reduce the cost of shipping operation, a lower but pragmatic standard of vessel known as River Sea Vessel (RSV) has been prescribed for coastal shipping and the RSV category of vessel has been agreed upon by both the countries.