Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a $500 million (around Rs 32.2 crore) credit line to Bangladesh for the purchase of defence supplies. Modi signed 21 agreements in various sectors with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is in Delhi on a four-day visit.
India has extended another credit line worth $4.5 billion (around Rs 29,000 crore) to Dhaka for infrastructure projects. This bring the total credit line extended to the neighbouring country to more than $8 billion (approximately Rs 51,400 rore) in the past couple of years, reported NDTV. However, this is a much lower amount than the $24 billion (around Rs 1.55 lakh crore) promised to Bangladesh by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his day-long visit to Dhaka last year.
Modi and Hasina also discussed the growing menace of militancy in the South Asian region. The Indian prime minister showered praise on his Bangladeshi counterpart for her government’s “zero tolerance towards terrorism”. Modi also underlined the importance of connectivity between the two countries while inaugurating the Kolkata-Khulna-Dhaka bus service.
However, the two leaders could not come to a consensus on the Teesta water-sharing agreement. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has strongly opposed the treaty, was also present at the meeting. The treaty calls for 50:50 sharing of the waters of River Teesta between West Bengal and Bangladesh during the lean season.
“I am very happy that the chief minister of West Bengal is my guest today. Her feelings for Bangladesh are as warm as my own. I assure you and the people of Bangladesh of our continuing efforts on Teesta,” said Modi, according to ANI.
In 2011, when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited Dhaka to sign a number of agreements, including the Teesta water-sharing accord, Banerjee had claimed that an unfair agreement would hurt the people of the state.