Need to consider power trade with Bangla stressed

The Assam Tribune, March 13, 2009
Favouring the need to make optimum use of power generation capacity of the Northeast, Siddhartha Mitra, director of CUTS, today said that the region should start considering the prospects of power trade with Bangladesh.

“Of the total potential of 63,257 MW of power generation, the region is presently utilizing only 1,011 MW. Power trade with Bangladesh will help the region’s power plants attain economies of scale,” said Mitra, while speaking during the Indo-Bangla Trade Meet with focus on the NE Stakeholders’ Consultation organized by FINER here today. Mitra also recommended improving air connectivity between NE and Bangla, at least from Guwahati to Dhaka and vice versa.

Asserting that the Northeast – which shares international borders with countries like China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar – can act as an entrepot economy facilitating trade for other countries, Mitra also stressed on the need for improving trade facilities with the bordering countries to achieve the same.

Prof (Dr) Atiur Rahman of Dhaka University, while endorsing the views expressed by Mitra in regard to power trade, further opined that there is a good prospect for Indian entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh. Pinpointing that of the total international border of NE, nearly 37 per cent is with Bangladesh, Dr Rahman reiterated that there are still a lot of opportunities to be exploited by both sides. “Trade between both sides has not improved like it should have been. In fact, over the years, a clear downtrend of the exported items is being witnessed,” he pointed out.

The meet was also attended by TA Changsan of Indian Foreign Service, Dipanjol Deka, secretary general of Tea Association of India, Saswati Chowdhury of Omeo Kumar Das Institute for Social Change and Development and Anil Saraf, director of FINER, amongst others.

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