Quarterly Newsletter
Issue #3, July-September, 2020
First Indian ship carrying trans-shipment goods reaches Chittagong port
Indian vessel “MV Shejyoti” carrying four containers of trans-shipment goods arrived at the outer anchorage of Chittagong port.
Four containers carrying iron and pulse will be shipped to Tripura and Assam of India through the Akhaura-Agartala land port. With this, the distance and time taken in the transportation of goods for India particularly the northeastern states will get reduced.
Bangladesh to set transhipment procedure for moving goods of India, Nepal and Bhutan
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has moved to prepare a common procedure, which both traders and customs officials will have to follow during transshipping goods.
The procedures of trade, requirement of undertaking, escorting of goods during transshipment, e-seal, customs declaration, other pros and cons, customs process, administrative measures will be detailed in a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) to be issued shortly.
Customs Modernisation in Bangladesh
The World Bank (WB) has expressed interest to help the National Board of Revenue (NBR) modernise its customs procedure for promoting regional trade and investments.
The WB has assured Bangladesh of providing assistance worth US$170 million for upgrading the cross-border and regional trade facilitation works, said an official of the Economic Relations Division (ERD). Meanwhile, the ERD, on behalf of the NBR, requested the Washington-based lender for bankrolling the customs modernisation project.
Bangladesh Railway Going For New Int’l Route
Railway service in Bangladesh is going to enter another era of globalization linking- India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
With the implementation of the Mongla-Khulna railway project under construction, it will be possible to establish a railway network linking the country’s second-largest seaport Mongla with neighbouring countries. This will enable import and export trade of goods with India, Nepal, and Bhutan through the establishment of SAARC Multimodal Transport.
Facilitating connectivity: India and Bhutan launch Jaigaon-Ahllay trade route
The new route will operate between Jaigaon in West Bengal and Ahllay in Bhutan, enabling smoother trade of goods and strengthening of sub-regional cooperation amid Chinese inroads into South Asia.
The new route for Pasakha Industrial Estate in Bhutan will decongest vehicular traffic along the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing route and boost bilateral trade and commerce, officials said, adding the new connectivity link will be especially beneficial for movement of heavy vehicles like trucks and industrial raw materials from India to Bhutan.
India plans land customs station on Bhutan border
On Bhutan’s request, India is all set to come up with a new land custom station at Jiti on the Indo-Bhutanese border in Jalpaiguri’s Nagrakata block.
Jaigaon in Alipurduar’s Kalchini block is also to be developed as an integrated check post. To fortify ties with the friendly Himalayan nation and counter unwelcome Chinese overtures on the Bhutan-China border, India plans to moot once more a proposal for railway connectivity in Bhutan.
Resumption of stone export by Bhutan to Bangladesh brings relief to many Indians
To facilitate the cross border trade without hampering own pandemic control restrictions, Bhutan has developed a 60 acre area dry port at Samtse with one side of it touching Indo-Bhutan border zero line.
Bringing relief to thousands of troubled Indians, Himalayan country Bhutan is going to bring its export of stone for concrete construction to Bangladesh to full swing soon. Though purely a bilateral issue between Bhutan and Bangladesh, the trade has deep involvement of India and its people in it.
PTA between Bangladesh, Bhutan likely to be signed by September
The commerce ministers of both the countries are likely to jointly sign the deal. It would be held physically or through virtual platform
The two countries' high officials agreed to sign the deal as they talked in a daylong videoconference held on June 16, 2020. Signing of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) between Bangladesh and Bhutan has been delayed further as two neighbouring countries are yet to get approval to this effect.
Survey begins for another checkpost at Nepal border
An integrated checkpost will be built near Bhittha Mor along India-Nepal border in Sitamarhi district to end a recent controversy over ‘no man’s land’.
This will be the third integrated checkpost on the porous border after Jogbani-Biratnagar in Araria and Raxaul -Birgunj in East Champaran districts in the state. It would help improving the bilateral trade between the two countries and people’s contact.
Inland Waterways Authority of India to provide Assam four new state-of-the-art Ro-Pax vessels
These Ro-Pax vessels will replace the earlier Ro-Ro vessels. Out of these four new Ro-Pax vessels, two vessels would be placed in Majuli, one in Guwahati and another one in Dhubri.
The new Ro-Pax vessels have a capacity of 200 passengers and along with these, can carry 2 trucks and 4 cars. These vessels have low draft, good maneuverability in comparison to the earlier Ro-Ro vessels which had less maneuverability due to bigger size and high draft for which it faced difficulty in plying over River Brahmaputra.
India, Bangladesh to set up mechanism to monitor bilateral projects
India and Bangladesh will create a new mechanism to regularly review the progress of bilateral development projects, with five such ventures, including an oil pipeline and three cross-border rail links, set to be completed in 2021.
The monitoring mechanism is expected to assist in timely completion of several ongoing projects, including the Rampal Maitree Power Plant, India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, and rail links between Akhaura-Agartala, Chilahati-Haldibari and Khulna-Mongla rail line that are to be completed by 2021.
Kolkata port to get separate zone for Nepal cargo
Kolkata Customs is likely to allocate a separate zone within the Syama Prasad Mookerjee port area to handle cargo headed for Nepal.
Once operational, this zone will be the first dedicated freight/cargo handling area for Nepal inside any port area in India. It will significantly boost cargo movement and reduce handling time for consignments headed to Nepal through the port in Kolkata.
Bangladesh, Nepal to trade goods on 225km rail route
The two countries will transport goods from Rahanpur to Biratganj in Nepal via Singabad in Malda and Jasbani in Bihar, India by rail.
The cabinet has approved a proposal to amend the transit protocol signed between Bangladesh and Nepal to introduce transport of goods by rail between the two nations and agreed to declare Rahanpur railway station in Chapainawabganj as a "port of call". Also, Nepal will transport its import and export goods using Bangladesh's Mongla port.
Nepal Customs Department to launch Digital System for international trade by year end
The Department of Customs says it is preparing to launch a digital system that would let stakeholders involved in international trade to facilitate transactions online. This one-door system will be launched by December.
Currently, service recipients of import, export, and trade sectors have to visit around three dozen government offices to get their job done. Now, with the launch of the system, this will end and the software will manage everything, claims the department’s Director-General Suman Dahal. The system will save the time of the service seekers whereas the government can also track the transactions easily, according to him.
Nepal, India in talks to build oil pipelines, gas plant and storage facilities
Gorakhpur-Bhairahawa and Siliguri-Jhapa pipelines are being considered as possibilities, Nepali officials say.
At least three new petroleum and gas pipelines, a liquefied petroleum gas plant and a number of oil storage facilities have been proposed to be built in Nepal while discussions are awaited on the funding modalities. The second meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Working Group on oil and gas cooperation talked about building a natural gas pipeline from Gorakhpur to Bhairahawa and an oil pipeline from Siliguri to Jhapa. Officials also discussed extending the oil pipeline from Amlekhganj to Lothar in Chitwan.
India Seeks Nepal's Permission To Conduct Detailed Study Of Raxaul-Kathmandu Rail Link
A proposal sent by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu to the Nepal government has promised to follow health and safety protocols amid COVID-19 while carrying out the study.
India has sought permission from Nepal to conduct a detailed study of the Raxaul-Kathmandu rail link without any delays. Konkan Railway Corporation, a union government company headquartered in Navi Mumbai will conduct a detailed study of the project.