Sat, 23 Sep 2023

New Delhi [India], June 4 (ANI):Union Minister of Ports, ShippingWaterways Sarbananda Sonowal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Government remains deeply committed to the development in the eastern region of India as well as India's neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal.

Sarbananda Sonowal attended a crucial meeting of stakeholders of maritime development in the Bay of Bengal area in Kolkata on Sunday.

Sonowal also underlined that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Government remains deeply committed to enabling Act East Policy to reach its maximum potential for growth and development in the eastern region of India as well as India's neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Sonowal said, "Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, the Act East Policy of Government has gathered unprecedented momentum ushering a new age of growth and development in the region. The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan is yet another boost to rationalise the logistical paradigm and make an attractive business proposition."After interacting with the envoys of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal as well as industrytrade representatives, the minister called for greater cooperation among all the stakeholders for unlocking value in the maritime sector of the region.

"The maritime sector, as well as the inland waterways sector, are major agents of change in this visionary scheme of transportation which is likely to transform cargo movement through an economic, sustainable and efficient mode. In this momentous journey, we aspire your active support and swift cooperation to extrapolate maximum value creation for everyone," official press release stated the Minister as saying.

Some of the key issues deliberated in the meeting were Trade through National Waterways 1 and 2 to NER for ensuring transit transportation of North East Cargo through Bangladesh/North East Region/Myanmar, to strengthen Trade Ties with Bangladesh through facilitation of movement of goods between SMP Kolkata and various ports of Bangladesh (Chittagong, Mongla) involving IWAI; Collaboration with Myanmar's Sittwe Port in Myanmar, as a part of KMMTTP, to transport cargo to NE India, via Mizoram; Using Deep Drafted Facilities within SMPK limits for overcoming the constraints of a shallow draft for STS/Transshipment operations; Capacity Enhancements at SMPK through PPP Mode.

Adding further, Sarbananda Sonowal said, "The Act East policy has been a harbinger of growth, not only for the eastern part of India but as a consequence, for the trade and business interest of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar. The success of Ganga Vilas, which travelled from Varanasi to Dibrugarh via Bangladesh, has accentuated the viability of the rich potential of river tourism in the South Asian region, showcasing our rich culture and heritage. Similarly, we have successfully started operations at the strategic Sittwe Port in Myanmar which will open a new route for Northeast India as well as Bhutan and Bangladesh.""We affirm our commitment towards the development of the maritime sector in the region and unlock value by empowering transportation solutions using our rich interweb of a riverine system for the growth and development in the region. This will be a true reflection of our PM Narendra Modi ji's vision of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'," Union Minister Sonowal added.

The meeting commenced with a discussion with IWAI/allied partners regarding the increased use of Inland Water Transport through River Ganga (NW1) and River Brahmaputra (NW2) via IBP/KMMTTP route. This was followed by an interactive meet of Ministers with the Consul Generals of the neighbouring countries (Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar) of India.

The Union Minister commended all stakeholders for their stellar role in the growth of trade and commerce through SMPK and the region as a whole since 2013-14, and through continued collaboration and enterprise aided by multi-pronged initiatives. (ANI)

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