India committed to early solution of Teesta water issue: Krishna

New Delhi, May 7: External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Monday assured Bangladesh of an early solution on the issue of the sharing of the Teesta waters.

“I have assured Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni that India remains committed to an early solution on the issue of sharing Teesta waters. Since water is a sensitive issue, in accordance with the traditions of consensual decision-making in India’s democratic polity, internal consultations are on amongst stakeholders, Krishna told media at the conclusion of first India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission meeting here.

“India attaches the highest importance to our relations with Bangladesh. We desire to use all opportunities in a spirit of trust, understanding, accommodation, friendship and respect for each other’s sovereignty. We deeply appreciate the initiative taken by the Government of Bangladesh to honour the ‘people of India’ and the ‘Indian Armed Forces’ for their contribution to the liberation of Bangladesh, a cause which is very close to our hearts,” he added.

On the Tipaimukh project, Krishna said: “It has been agreed that a Sub-Group under the Joint Rivers Commission would be constituted to look into all aspects, including our prime minister’s proposal for joint participation in the project.

On the trade and investment front, Mukherjee said that the decision by India in 2011 to grant zero duty access to all goods from Bangladesh has opened new opportunities for expansion of bilateral trade.

” I understand that there has been a significant increase of textile exports from Bangladesh to India. We have made steady progress in the utilisation of the US one billion dollar Line of Credit extended by India to Bangladesh. Just yesterday, Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee announced in Dhaka that 200 million dollar of the Line of Credit would be converted into grants-in-aid for projects of priority to Bangladesh,” eh said.

“Our focus now is to ensure timely delivery on the contracts that have been signed by the Government of Bangladesh. So far, projects worth more than 810 million dollar have been agreed upon and five contracts worth US 83 million dollar have been signed. The first consignment of busses has arrived in Dhaka and deliveries of railway rolling stock will start by the end of the year,” he added.

On power sector, Mukherjee said: “The work on power inter-grid connectivity is progressing and we are hopeful that 500 MW power would flow from India to Bangladesh during the summer of 2013.”

“We are also moving ahead with the setting up of 1320 MW coal based joint venture power plant which is expected to be commissioned by 2016. We welcome the participation of Bangladesh in power projects in India, particularly in the North-Eastern states of India,” he added. (ANI)