Bangladesh Current Affairs

NTPC to supply 300 MW electricity to Bangladesh

India’s biggest electricity producer NTPC Ltd has won tender to supply 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity to power-starved Bangladesh for 15 years. The tender was floated by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) for supply of 500 MW power from India for short term (2018-2019) and long term ( 2020 2033).

Key Facts

The supply of 300MW to Bangladesh is part of India’s strategy of playing a key role in creating a new energy security architecture for its neighbours. It will help NTPC earn Rs.900 crore in annual revenue. It will help NTPC to keep pace with fast-changing power sector wherein absence of fresh demand for electricity is weighing down the entire power sector. India is currently exporting approximately 600 MW electricity to Bangladesh.

Significance

Fostering cross-border energy trade is an important part of India’s South Asia-focused neighbourhood-first policy. It also has been articulated in NITI Aayog’s draft national energy policy. India already has power grid links with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh and is building power projects in three countries. It is also planning to develop power transmission links with Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

India has also been pursuing closer ties in energy sector with Bangladesh, helping markets to integrate. State-run Indian Oil Corp. is exploring long-term deals with Bangladeshi companies for supplying LPG and other petroleum products. Moreover, there is also plan to set up large LPG import terminal in partnership with local companies, allowing large vessels to arrive in Chittagong port of Bangladesh.

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BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement:  India, Bangladesh, Nepal approve Passenger protocol

Bangladesh, India and Nepal agreed on text of operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).

Decision in this regard was taken at meeting of High-level officials of three countries held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was convened and chaired by India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

Passenger protocol

The passenger protocol agreed upon is document detailing procedures for cross-border movement of buses and private vehicles for transport facilitation in subregion. It will be signed by three countries after completing necessary internal approval processes in their government. The delegations participating countries also agreed to continue to conduct trial movement of cargo vehicles along scheduled routes from April 2018 onwards, before finalizing protocol for cargo vehicular movement.

BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)

The landmark MVA was signed by Transport Ministers of BBIN countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) in Thimphu, Bhutan in June 2015. India, Bangladesh and Nepal have already ratified MVA and have agreed to start its implementation among three signatory countries. Bhutan will bandwagon them after it ratifies the agreement.

The agreement will permit member states to ply their vehicles in each other’s territory for transportation of cargo and passengers, including third country transport and personal vehicles

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing technical, advisory, and financial support to BBIN MVA initiative as part of its assistance to South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program. Earlier trail runs for cargo vehicles under MVA were conducted along Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Delhi-Kolkata-Dhaka routes which had successfully establishes their economic benefits.

SASEC program: It is projects-based economic cooperation initiative of ADB that brings together BBIN countries, Maldives, Sri Lanka and more recently, Myanmar. ADB (Manila) is secretariat of SASEC.

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