The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 April 2017 approved five agreements with Bangladesh including a pact in the field of judicial sector cooperation and on passenger cruise services on the coastal and protocol routes.
All the agreements or draft of measures were cleared prior to visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India. These measures were cleared with an aim to strengthen cultural, judicial, maritime and economic engagements between India and Bangladesh.
PM Hasina will be on a four-day official visit to India. She will be in India between 7 April and 10 April 2017 with a hope to deepen the bilateral relations between the two nations, which have seen a new trajectory in last three to five years. Her visit comes two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka.
List of Agreements/MoUs which were cleared during the Union Cabinet meet
• Approval to the agreement on Audio Visual Co-Production between India and Bangladesh: Salient features of the Agreement
a) The audio-visual co-production agreement would cover co-production of films, documentaries and animations films.
b) An audio-visual co-production made in accordance with the proposed Agreement shall be entitled to all the benefits which may be accorded to any national audio-visual work by both countries in accordance with their respective laws and regulations.
c) The agreement will lead to exchange of art and culture among the two countries. At the same time, it will also create goodwill and better understanding among the residents of the two countries.
d) Co-productions provide an opportunity to create and showcase our soft power.
e) The agreement will help in generation of employment among artistic, technical as well as non-technical personnel engaged in the arena of audio-visual co-production including post-production and its marketing. This employment will add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of both the countries.
f) As per the agreement, Bangladesh will have the rights to utilise Indian locales for shooting, which in return raises the visibility/prospect of India as a preferred film shooting destination across the globe.
So far, India has entered into audio-visual co-production agreements with several nations like the United Kingdom, Italy, Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, France, Poland, Canada, Spain, China and Republic of Korea.
• Approval to the signing of MoU in the field of judicial sector cooperation: This approval aims at developing, strengthening and promoting mutual cooperation between the judiciaries of the two countries. The approval will encourage mutual interaction among judges and officials of the two nations via exchange visits, training and academic programmes. It will also promote mutual exchange of information on latest developments in the field of law and justice. It will enable exchange of knowledge in infrastructure and information technology in this field.
• Approval to the MoU on passenger cruise services on the coastal and protocol routes between India and Bangladesh: This approval on the passenger cruise services will help in starting regular movement of passengers and tourists in water crafts between the two countries. This operationalisation will also generate employment opportunities for the people of India and Bangladesh. Apart from this, it will also promote people to people contact and cooperation in respect to economic, cultural and social advancement of the neighbouring nations.
• Approval to the MoU for fairway development of Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of Kushiyara River and Sirajganj-Daikhawa stretch of Jamuna River in the Indo-Bangladesh protocol route: This MoU between India and Bangladesh will considerably reduce the logistics cost of cargo movement to North Eastern India. It will also reduce the congestion through Siliguri Chicken’s Neck corridor.
• Approval to the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Mass Media: Salient features of the MoU includes main areas of cooperation and they are
a) The two nations will facilitate training or study tour of personnel in the field of mass media and public relations.
b) It will encourage the exchange of experts in the field of Mass Media.
c) It will also encourage cooperation between educational, training and research institutions in the field of Mass Media & Communication and facilitate in the exchange of publications generated by these institutions.
d) It will also allow the two nations in cooperating and sharing their experiences in the field of regulations of the Mass Media activities and statistical data related to Mass Media.
e) It will also facilitate accredited mass media representatives to set up offices in the creation of conditions necessary for performance of professional duties on the basis of reciprocity.
Where: New Delhi
When: 5 April 2017