DHAKA, March 4 (IANS): Officials from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan may meet soon to chalk out plans for closer regional connectivity following an understanding reached between Dhaka and New Delhi.
Direct transport services would allow movement of people and of goods into each others' markets. This was discussed when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was in New Delhi in January.
"Such a meeting can pave the way for understanding and working out a modality for introduction of something like direct bus services. Bangladesh or Bhutan can convince India to agree to transit for the land-locked Himalayan state," New Age newspaper Thursday quoted an unnamed senior official as saying.
The Prime Minister's Office here has asked the ministries concerned to expedite the process of implementation of the decisions made at the Bangladesh-India New Delhi summit.
The PMO directed officials to take steps and prepare progress reports on implementation of the decisions before the Prime Minister sits with them soon.
Improving road connectivity with India, allowing water transit through Ashuganj port, power trade, receiving loans pledged by New Delhi and duty-free access of Bangladeshi commodities to Indian market were the key areas covered by the joint communique issued at the end of the summit.
The Prime Minister's economic affairs adviser Mashiur Rahman asked the bureaucrats to undertake maximum efforts to implement the decisions and work out ways to remove hurdles. The official said that the economic relations division had been asked to contact the India about how Bangladesh could receive a $100 million loan pledged by the Indian government.
The Shipping Ministry has been asked to prepare its report on use of Ashuganj port for transport of Indian goods across Bangladesh to Tripura, tucked away in India's northeastern region.
Currently, a joint team is assessing the state of infrastructures for transport of 'over dimensional cargo' from Ashuganj to Tripura's capital Agartala before making an estimate of costs.