The Indian Cabinet has approved signing an agreement to establish an institutional framework mechanism to accelerate and extend India-Bangladesh bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector. As a part of the project, a 131 km long pipeline will be laid from Siliguri in West Bengal to Parbatipur in northern Bangladesh, which will carry diesel from India to Bangladesh. Also, a line from Dattapulia in West Bengal (India) will carry natural gas to Khulna (Bangladesh).
According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), a number of agreements or MoUs have been exchanged during the state visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India during April 07-10, 2017. Out of many others, an agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy has been signed. An arrangement between The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of India and The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) has been inked for the exchange of technical information and co-operation in the regulation of nuclear safety and radiation protection. Also, an Inter-Agency Agreement has been endorsed between Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh on Cooperation regarding Nuclear Power Plant Projects in Bangladesh.
India’s commitment to accelerate the all-round growth of Bangladesh has been reinforced by the recent meetings between the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Ms. Sheikh Hasina – during her visit to India. Both of them have specifically looked at charting new avenues and tapping fresh opportunities in advancing the country to country relationship. Cooperation in the fields of Bangladesh’s Energy Security and Civil Nuclear Energy development have been included under the thrust areas of cooperation beside many others.
India has agreed to finance the diesel oil pipeline from Numaligarh to Parbatipur. According to Mr. Modi, “Our companies are entering into a long-term agreement for the supply of high speed diesel to Bangladesh. We have also agreed on a time table for regular supply till the pipeline is constructed. We are encouraging private sectors in both our countries to enter this space. Several agreements for investments in the energy sector in Bangladesh are expected to be signed by the Indian companies in the coming days. India will continue to be a willing partner in meeting the energy needs of Bangladesh, and its goal of achieving ‘Power for all by 2021’.”