Improve connectivity to improve NE economy

Image: Collected
Seamless transport connectivity between India and Bangladesh, specially the Northeastern states, gets the potential to increase countrywide income by as many as 17 % in Bangladesh and 8 % in India, says a new World Bank report.

The report contends that improving transport connectivity between the two countries could increase exports even more, yielding a 297 % increase in Bangladesh’s exports to India and a 172 per cent upsurge in India’s exports to Bangladesh.

Says bordering Bangladesh such as for example Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram and Tripura found in the Northeast and West Bengal on the west and claims further away from Bangladesh such as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra would also gain huge economic benefits from seamless connectivity.

At the moment, Indian trucks aren't permitted to transit from mainland India to the Northeast and vice versa through Bangladesh. Due to this fact, the Northeast location is specially isolated with all of those other country and linked only through the 27-km-large Siliguri corridor, also known as the “chicken’s throat”. This causes cost and period overrun.

Products from Agartala, for example, travelling 1,600 km through the Siliguri corridor to attain Kolkata Port rather than 450 km through Bangladesh. If the border had been available to Indian trucks, things from Agartala would need to travel just 200 km to the Chattogram Interface in Bangladesh, and the transportation costs to the interface would be 80 per cent lower, the article estimates.

“Geographically, Bangladesh’s location makes it a strategic gateway to India, Nepal, Bhutan, and other East Asian countries. Bangladesh may also become an financial powerhouse by bettering regional trade, transit and logistics systems,” said Mercy Tembon, Community Bank Nation Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

“Weak transport integration creates the border among Bangladesh and India thick. Crossing the India-Bangladesh border at Petrapole-Benapole, the main border post between your two countries, takes countless days,” the article says.

Countries have to address a number of challenges such as for example infrastructure deficits, particularly in designated border articles, harmonization of restrictions and customs procedures, it again adds.