Bangladesh and India have finalised dozens of draft documents -- deals and MoUs -- to take into consideration for signing during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's expected bilateral visit to New Delhi to strengthen ties between the two countries in key areas.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to pay a visit to its next door neighbour within a couple of months, and the two countries are working on dates convenient to both sides, officials at the Foreign Ministry said.
A meeting on sub-regional cooperation held last month at the Prime Minister's Office with PM's Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman in the chair reviewed the progress on formulating MoUs and agreements to be signed during the Prime Minister's next visit which Dhaka sees as an important one.
A source close to the meeting told UNB that the Bangladesh side is likely to propose nine MoUs, including an MoU between the Geological Survey of Bangladesh and Geological Survey of India, another among Bangladesh, Bhutan and India for joint investment in 1125MW Kuri-1 hydropower project in Bhutan proposed by the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Division, before the Indian side for signing.
The MoU between the National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of Ayush, India and the relevant Ministry of Bangladesh on cooperation in the field of medicinal plants has already been sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the document reads.
The other MoUs to be proposed by the Bangladesh side include Amendment to RTA, long-term visas for Bangladeshi nationals aged over 65 under the Ministry of Home Affairs and MoU for establishing border haats along the border between Bangladesh and India.
The official close to the meeting also informed UNB that the meeting discussed 20 MoUs and agreements proposed by the Indian side.
A deal between Petronet LNG Ltd of India and Petrobangla of Bangladesh for promoting joint ventures in the natural gas sector, Framework agreement between the governments on cooperation in the area of geostationary communication satellites, bilateral agreement related to orbit frequency coordination of 'Satellite for SAARC Region' proposed at 48-degree E are among the 20 MoUs.
The instruments as proposed by the Indian side also include develop regional cooperation between Indian Coast Guard and Bangladesh Coast Guard, MoU between Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) and State Trading Corporation of India (STCI).
Besides, an MoU on trilateral cooperation for successful implementation of the Rooppur Nuke plant project and MoU between India Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Dhaka University for the establishment of ICCR chair for Hindi language are also among the 20 MoUs.
Earlier in June 2015, India and Bangladesh inked 22 agreements, including a historic one, to settle the longstanding border dispute and a bilateral trade document during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's New Delhi visit is in discussion since December last year but it is getting delayed for busyness of both leaders, diplomatic sources said.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Al earlier described Prime Minister's upcoming New Delhi visit 'important and sensitive' and mentioned that the date of her visit is yet to be finalised.
The Prime Minister was scheduled to visit New Delhi in December last but was deferred for certain scheduling problem.
At the invitation of Prime Minister Hasina, Modi visited Bangladesh from June 6-7 in 2015 the two countries came up with a joint declaration 'Notun Projonmo - Nayi Disha'.
Hasina, during the visit, requested Modi for immediate conclusion of the interim agreement on sharing of the water of Teesta as agreed upon by both the governments in January 2011.