India and Bangladesh have agreed on the extension of the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) with a provision of automatic renewal in line with the proposed amendment to the Bangladesh-India trade agreement.
The decision was made during a secretary-level talk between the two countries held in Delhi on Monday.
The entire route is being developed under regional IDA assistance of the World Bank. The Bangladesh side while welcoming the proposal said it would have to obtain approval of the concerned authority of Bangladesh. It was also agreed between the two countries that a draft agreement for the regular movement of passenger and cruise vessels would be shared by India with Bangladesh through diplomatic channels.
Bangladesh also agreed to the inclusion of Pangaon container terminal two other ICTs in the country as ports of call by cargo vessel operators.
Bangladesh side requested that Farraka and Bandel on National Waterway (NW) - 1 may be declared as port of call, for which the Indian side sought more time for internal consultations.
With regard to commencement of coastal shipping, a draft agreement on coastal shipping was initialed by both the countries. It was also agreed to finalise the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in about two months time. On cooperation on Light House and marine training, India offered to extend training to the personnel in Bangladesh.