India-Bangladesh Current Affairs - 2020

Neighbourhood First Policy: India hands over 10 Railway Locomotives to Bangladesh

On July 27, 2020, India handed over 10 Railway Locomotives to bolster its Neighbourhood First Policy. India had committed to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina during her visit to India to provide broad gauge diesel locomotives to the country.

Highlights

The handing over event was conducted virtually and was attended by Indian External Affairs Minister S Jai Shankar, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and their Bangladeshi counter parts.

First Cross Border Train

It is to be noted that the first container train from India reached Bangladesh very recently. The train carried FMCG (Fast Moving consumer Goods) products. The FMCG products are consumer goods such as soap, detergents, shampoos, and other essential products used in day to day life.

The First container trainer carried around 50 containers. The container service is to operate regularly from now on. The service links Majerhat near Kolkata with Benapole, Singia, Jessore, Noapara and Bangabandhu Setu West in Bangladesh.

Already there are two passenger trains running between India and Bangladesh. They are Bandhan Express connecting Kolkata and Khulna and Maitree Express connecting Kolkata and Dhaka.

Background

India and Bangladesh have close trade ties. However, the trade was greatly affected due to COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, it is essential to strengthen cross border transport infrastructures

Also, China has been determined to reach out to India’s periphery to draw them into its influence. In Bangladesh, China sealed in 2016 that was worth of 20 billion USD eclipsing India’s Line of Credit of 8 billion USD since 2011.

In Sri Lanka, China offered concessional loan of 500 million USD to overcome its economic issues.

India to setup its own Cotton Warehouse in Vietnam to boost Exports

The Cotton Corporation of India is holding surplus stocks of cotton. With the next harvest season approaching, the CCI is trying to boost exports.

Highlights

To export the current stocks, India will sign Memorandum of Understanding with Bangladesh to export 1.5 to 2 million bales of cotton. One bale is 170 kilo grams. Also, the CCI will set up its own warehouse in Vietnam to boost cotton exports.

Background

The CCI has so far procured 12.1 million bales of cotton. Along with its agent Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation, CCI was able to sell 900,000 bales of cotton this season.

Why Bangladesh and Vietnam?

India has chosen Bangladesh and Vietnam as they have duty-free access to markets of US, Europe, and China. This gives them an edge over Indian Yarn and garment exporters who pay comparatively higher duties.

Cotton Corporation of India

It is a GoI agency that is engaged in diverse activities related to export, trade, and procurement of cotton. It is also responsible for distribution of cotton and aids in import of cotton. The CCI is governed by the Textile Policy 1985 that was issued by the Ministry of Textiles.

Textile Policy in India

Currently India is working under National Textile Policy 2000. The Government of India announced in 2019 that a new Textile Policy, 2020 will be rolled out in mid of 2020. The New Textile Policy being formulated will focus on technical textiles, manufacturing of apparel and garment, man-made fibre products and exports.