Tuesday, 5 July, 2022

Dhaka-Delhi JCC meet today

NEW DELHI: India and Bangladesh hold the 7th meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) in New Delhi today to discuss a whole gamut of bilateral issues with the latter set to focus on water sharing and waiver of anti-dumping duty on jute.

The JCC will be co-chaired by Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen, who along with his delegation arrived in New Delhi on Saturday.

“Warm greetings to FM Dr AK Abdul Momen of Bangladesh @BDMOFA on his arrival in Delhi. He will co-chair the 7th Meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission with EAM @DrSJaishankar tomorrow (Sunday),”

Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, said in a Twitter thread.

This will be the first in-person JCC meeting since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic with the previous edition held virtually in 2020.

The meeting will review a while gamut of bilateral relations, including cooperation in the wake of Covid-19, border management and security, trade & investment, connectivity, energy, water resources, development partnership and regional & multilateral issues.

Besides, the upcoming visit of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India may come up for discussion, sources said.

The JCC may also give directions to complete Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Bangladesh as early as possible for joint production of Covid-19 vaccines.

Bangladesh has called for early completion of the Teesta Water-sharing Agreement and deals on water share of two more rivers -- Kushiyara and Feni.

A new initiative under BBIN platform for hydropower connectivity among India, Bhutan and Bangladesh is also in the final stage of implementation. Efforts are being made to include Nepal in this initiative.

Sources in the government said as Bangladesh is graduating to a developing nation from the group of least developed countries, new economic engagement may take a paradigm shift.

A wide range of issues of mutual interests is on the agenda and both sides will review the bilateral relations and new initiatives that can be implemented to deepen the ties further.

An MEA official said, “The New Delhi–Dhaka JCC may take bilateral relations qualitatively to new heights by deepening economic engagement and cooperation in new technology and defence.”

“A new CEPA is under discussion. New areas of cooperation may include high technology, civil nuclear energy and green energy, especially renewable one,” he added.

“India offered US$ 500 million Line of Credit for purchase of military platforms. However, the deal has not progressed satisfactorily. India may push for enhanced cooperation in defence and joint production of vaccines. India has already given a proposal for joint production of Covaxin. This time a resolution on this issue may be concluded,” the MEA official said.

According to him, the long-pending Teesta water-sharing deal may figure in the discussion but no finality is expected.

“Bangladesh is looking for relaxation of para tariff barriers for goods export and also removal of anti-dumping duty on jute products. And the idea is to maintain the relations vibrant for the next 50 years. After reviewing the last 50 years of cooperation, a new vision document for the next five decades may be framed,” he said.