Bill to ratify LBA in winter session of Parliament: India to B`desh

Last Updated: Monday, November 11, 2013 - 20:30

Gurgaon: India on Monday assured Bangladesh of its intention to introduce a bill in coming session of Parliament in December to ratify the Land Boundary Agreement.

This was conveyed by External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid to his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni with whom he had a bilateral meeting on the margins of ASEM Foreign Ministers meet here.

"The External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid met his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni on the margins of the ASEM Ministerial meeting this evening. The External Affairs Minister reassured the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister of his intention to introduce the constitutional amendment related to the Land Boundary Agreement in the forthcoming session of Parliament in December," official sources said here.

While Bangladesh has ratified the LBA long back, its implementation by India has been held up since long because Indian parliament needs to approve it through a constitution amendment bill.

A constitution amendment bill is required because the LBA envisages swapping of land in the exchange of 161 adversely-held enclaves by India and Bangladesh. It is after the enclaves are exchanged that the boundary demarcation can be done.

The UPA government`s efforts to introduce the bill in Parliament in its budget and monsoon session this year had been scuttled by severe opposition from BJP, AGP and Trinamool Congress lawmakers who are opposed to the LBA on the ground that India would stand to cede territory to Bangladesh.

The two also discussed various other issues of bilateral interest, specifically including the implementation of the agreement for power-sharing and the benfits accruing to the ordinary people from it, the sources said.

India had since October 5 begun supplying 250 MW of subsidized electricity to power-starved Bangladesh through a transborder grid of NTPC, fulfilling a key decision reached by the two countries during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s visit to Delhi in January, 2010.

Besides, Bangladesh is also set to purchase another 250MW power from private manufacturers in open market for which the agreement is yet to be signed.

The recent incident of the cocktail bomb explosion near the Indian Assistant High Commission in southeastern city of Chittagong also came up, they said, adding the impact of the District Collector-level meetings was also assessed.

The two ministers also discussed other regional issues of common interest and agreed to keep in touch during the forthcoming meeting of the CHOGM in Sri Lanka.

During the meeting, Dipu Moni "underscored the need for the early resolution of long-pending issues", a statement issued by Bangladesh High Commission here said.

Khurshid is having series of bilaterals with his counterparts from various countries of the sidelines of ASEM.

He will be holding talks with the Pakistan Prime Minister`s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz tomorrow during which he is expected to convey India`s concerns over ceasefire violations by the Pakistan army and terrorism.

PTI

First Published: Monday, November 11, 2013 - 20:30

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