The Union Cabinet on 30 May 2015 gave its approval to the Agreement on Coastal and Maritime Shipping between India and Bangladesh that paves the way for the commencement of coastal shipping between the two countries.
Features of the Agreement on Coastal and Maritime Shipping
• India and Bangladesh shall render the same treatment to the other country’s vessels as it would have done to its national vessels used in international sea transportation.
• The River Sea Vessel (RSV) category of vessel is prescribed for coastal shipping to lower construction and operation cost without compromising on the safety of the vessel.
Importance of the Agreement
• EXIM (Export Import) trade between India and Bangladesh (India’s largest trading partner in South Asia) would be benefited by way of reduction in freight charges.
• It will improve the utilization of port capacities of Indian ports and open up new opportunity for Indian coastal vessels.
• It will help in decongestion of roads especially at the Land custom stations or 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.
• It will increase bilateral trade between the two countries and lower down the cost of transportation of EXIM cargo.
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When: 30 May 2015