Bangladesh Journalists call on Union Finance Minister
The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that India attaches great importance to its bilateral ties with Bangladesh. He said that good relations with neighbours especially with Bangladesh is a foreign policy priority for India. Shri Mukherjee was speaking when a group of eleven Bangladesh journalists called on him in his office here today.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that a Joint Communirue issued at the end of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s last visit to India in January,2010, is a landmark document leading to further cementing of the ties between the two countries.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that both sides have been making strenuous efforts to implement each and every element of the aforesaid Joint Communique expeditiously including in the areas relating to security, power, connectivity, border haats, electrification of Dahagram and Angarpota, capacity building especiaally in standards and certification among others.
In this regard, the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee specifically mentioned about his last visit to Dhaka in August 2010 to witness the signing of the historic $ 1 billion Line of Credit Agreement, the largest amount ever offered by India to any country and on soft terms which is the testimony to India’s desire to partner in the economic development of Bangladesh.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the LOC will be utilized for building infrastructure in Bangladesh including supply of buses, railway coaches and locomotives, railway infrastructure, upgrading standards and dredging among others.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that work on the transmission line to connect India and Bangladesh for supply of the 250 MW power promised by India is proceeding apace. He said that we expect power to flow by 2013.
On security cooperation, the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that we appreciate the support extended by Bangladesh in the recent past. He said that both of us have recognized that terrorists are friends to none and we have to collectively fight against them. S The Minister said that we cannot afford to allow them to disrupt our relations. He said that we have agreed in principle to facilitate 24 hour access to Bangladesh nationals across the Tin Bigha Corridor and have handed over a Non –paper to Bangladesh side on modalities.
In the end, the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that India has both political will and ability to bring about a paradigm change in our ties which would be beneficial not only to both the countries but also to the region as a whole.