Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo/ANI
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo/ANI

India, Bangladesh to expedite creation of 12 border haats

ANI | Updated: Oct 05, 2019 23:57 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 5 (ANI): India and Bangladesh have decided to expedite setting up of 12 `border haats' to give a boost to the livelihood of people living in remote border areas.
The joint statement issued after meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said that the two leaders appreciated the positive impact of the border haats on the lives and livelihoods of the people living along the remote border areas and directed their officials to expedite establishment of 12 border haats, which have been agreed to by both the countries.
The statement said that both the leaders emphasised the need for greater cooperation to commemorate the two important anniversary years -- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary in 2020 and 50 years of Bangladesh's War of Liberation and establishment of India-Bangladesh bilateral diplomatic ties in the year 2021.
"To commemorate these two historic years, both leaders also agreed to enhance cultural interactions between both the countries," it said.
The two Prime Ministers recalled the shared bonds of history, culture, language, secularism and other unique commonalities that characterise the partnership.
They paid solemn tribute to the martyrs of the Liberation War, the Muktijoddhas, the Indian soldiers who fought in the War and the citizens of Bangladesh, for their great sacrifices in the Liberation War of 1971, and the commitment of Bangladesh leadership to the cherished values of democracy and equality.
Both leaders vowed to uphold these shared values, in line with the dream of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Prime Minister also reaffirmed India's full support to the realization of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's vision of ensuring a prosperous, peaceful and developed Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina thanked Prime Minister Modi for India's commitment to simplify travel requirements, for Bangladesh nationals traveling by road or rail to India, and asked that in the spirit of reciprocity, all restrictions be lifted for Bangladeshi travelers using existing land ports.
"The two sides agreed that the remaining restrictions on entry/ exit from land ports in India for citizens of Bangladesh travelling on valid documents would be removed in a phased manner, beginning with checkpoints at Akhaura (Tripura) and Ghojadanga (West Bengal)," the release said.
It said both leaders emphasised the importance of effective border management for ensuring a tranquil, stable and crime-free border.
They directed their respective border forces to complete border fencing at all pending sectors at the International Border between both the countries at the earliest.
Both Leaders also agreed that the loss of civilian lives at the border is a matter of concern and directed the concerned border forces to enhance coordinated measures to work toward bringing such border incidents down to zero.
They agreed to enhance cooperation in the area of disaster management.
India welcomed Bangladesh's imminent graduation out of LDC status.
The two sides agreed to expedite the commissioning of the joint study on the prospects of entering into a bilateral comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Bangladesh.
In response to India's request to withdraw port restrictions on products being traded through Akhaura-Agartala port, the Bangladesh side informed that the restrictions will be removed on most items of a regular trade in the near future.
Bangladesh requested Indian authorities to consider addressing the issue of anti-dumping/anti-circumvention duties imposed on multiple products exported from Bangladesh to India, including jute products.
The Indian side mentioned that trade remedial investigation were carried out in accordance with the existing laws.
"Both leaders directed their officials to expedite the establishment of a framework of cooperation in the area of Trade Remedial Measures for cooperation and capacity building in this area," the statement said.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister appreciated India's readiness to extend duty-free and quota-free access for Bangladeshi exports to the Indian market.
"They welcomed that for the first time, exports from Bangladesh to India crossed the one billion dollar mark in 2019 witnessing a year-on-year growth of 52 per cent in the exports," it said. (ANI)