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India told not to `bracket Bangladesh with Pakistan`

Not happy to be "bracketed with Pakistan" in terms of security risk, Bangladesh said it was creating problems for its businessmen to set up shop in India.

New Delhi: Not happy to be "bracketed with Pakistan" in terms of security risk, Bangladesh on Monday said it was creating problems for its businessmen to set up shop here while Indian brand names were freely operating in Dhaka.

It said the matter has been taken up with Indian authorities.

"Major problem (is) banking transactions. If I go to Dhaka, you will see over 100 Indian brand names over there. I face questions from my own family that why cannot we see Bangladeshi brand names here. We had somebody apply for setting up an outlet here but he cannot.”

"We are still bracketed with Pakistan in terms of security. The RBI mechanism spits out the application and it is thrown on the wayside because we are still a security risk.... We have taken this up, I don`t know how long it will take," Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq Ahmad Karim said here.

He was addressing a conference on South Asian Economic Integration here.

Kamar said if Bangladeshi nationals are not allowed to even open bank accounts, "they are not going to come. These are little things but they translate into huge things".

Stressing the need for having better communication facilities between the two countries, he said, "I hope before I leave India in another 12 months, I will see a revised travel arrangement which will make communication easier. Without communication, you cannot have business done."

The Bangladeshi High Commissioner suggested that it was in India`s interest to see the growth of his country as it can help in growth of its northeastern states.

"I have always contended that if India`s growth rate remains to be 7 to 9 percent, it could go a couple of notches up if Northeast`s growth rate could be pushed up from 4 to 7 percent. That can happen only if Bangladesh`s growth rate goes up from 6 to 8-9 percent. It is in India`s interest to help us grow because that will help northeast to grow," he said.

On the restrictions in trading goods from only Benapole and Petrapole international trade posts, he said the possibility of opening up more such posts should be examined by the Indian side.

He said in a similar fashion, more ports should also be opened up by the Indian side which are more "economically viable".

Concluding his speech, Karim said, "I am sorry if I appear little abrasive, I am perhaps also a little frustrated. We have to think big if we have to achieve large targets."


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