The union cabinet today gave its approval to an agreement on coastal shipping between India and Bangladesh, which would enable easier movement of goods between the two countries.
Costal shipping will benefit trade between India and Bangladesh by way of reduced freight charges. It will also improve the utilisation of port capacities of Indian ports and open up new opportunity for Indian coastal vessels, apart from also helping decongest roads, especially at the land custom stations / integrated check posts at the Indo-Bangladesh boarder.
The Indian ports serving as transshipment ports for Bangladesh cargo will derive benefits by way of enhanced throughput as a result of Indo-Bangladesh coastal trade.
India and Bangladesh have agreed to render equal treatment to each other's vessels as would be done to national vessels used in international sea transportation.
The commencement of coastal shipping between the India and Bangladesh is expected to 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. 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 cargo flows between the two countries.
Currently there is no significant cargo movement between sea Ports of Bangladesh and India as it is not profitable for the ocean going vessels to operate between the sea ports of the two countries.
The coastal shipping would make use of a standard vessel known as River Sea Vessel (RSV), to reduce the cost of shipping operation.
The cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding between India and Bangladesh on bilateral cooperation for prevention of human trafficking in women and children, including rescue, recovery, repatriation and re-integration of victims of human trafficking.