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Increasing connectivity between Bangladesh & its neighbours August 13, 2010


Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dipu Moni expressed recently that Bangladesh is trying to establish increasing connectivity with its neighbours. Bangladesh is working on transit with India, Nepal and Bhutan. She added that people and goods will start moving once the connectivity is established.

Bangladesh is taking loan of $1b from India to develop the infrastructure.

BNP, the main opposition party is deadly against the transit with India. They are claiming that Bangladesh will not be able to control the contents of transit and will unnecessarily invite the trouble in the country by the rebels in the eastern states of India.

BNP said the government is getting the loan from an Indian bank at an interest rate seven times higher than what any multinational bank or donor agency would charge.

MK Anwar, former Industry Minister said the deal for infrastructure projects will eventually benefit India while Bangladeshis will have to repay the loan. “The implementation of the projects with the Indian loan will serve Indian interests more than Bangladesh’s,” he said.
he BNP lawmaker claimed that such loans are available from any multinational bank at only .25 percent interest.
Dipu Moni however said that the government signed the agreement with India by following international norms and standards, and the cabinet also gave its nod.

It is true that Bangladesh can’t remain confined within itself, needs better connectivity with its neighbours. But what Bangladesh is lacking -preparation and projection of the project, debate among the experts and in the parliament, not to be limited in media rhetoric, necessary transparency of the deeds, consensus among the major political parties regarding international pact.

Above all, the conditions should be such that it is a win-win situation for all the parties.

The ordinary citizen is also not aware of any thoughtful study by any universities in Bangladesh on the connectivity issue.

Government also needs to proceed with developing communications with Burma and through Burma developing transit with China. That will give Bangladesh more access to the region and will give Government more balanced state of policy.

An ordinary citizen


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