• India keen to set up a port in Bangladesh: Nitin Gadkari

    India is keen to set up a port in Bangladesh and a high-level committee will be sent to the neighbouring country in this regard, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said.

    “We are exploring the opportunity to set up a port in Bangladesh and further strengthen our ties. We have sent a committee to Bangladesh in this connection,” Union Road Transport and Shipping Minister today said.

    The Payra port in Patuakhali district of Bangladesh will be another major milestone between the nations, Gadkari said, addressing the media at Foreign Correspondents Club here.

    He, however, said a final decision will be taken after the recommendations from the committee, and investment proposals will be finalised only after that.

    The external affairs ministries of both sides have already held a preliminary round of talks for the port development and a delegation from the shipping ministry under a joint secretary will be visiting Bangladesh next week to study the site and prepare a detailed project report, he said.

    Gadkari said finer details, including investment requirements, will be worked out after the committee’s recommendations.

    A senior official said the proposal is to set up a port at Payra in Bangladesh and a detailed project report is ready.

    About Chabahar port in Iran, he said India is eyeing investments there and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is on a visit to Iran with a high-level delegation, including road transport and highways ministry officials.

    Gadkari had earlier said India is looking at an investment of Rs 2 lakh crore at Chabahar port in Iran in various infrastructure projects and the investments will depend on the outcome of the negotiations on gas price as Iran has offered to supply natural gas at USD 2.95 while India wants rates to be lowered.

    India has already pledged to invest about USD 85 million in developing the strategic port off Iran’s south-eastern coast, which would provide India a sea-land access route to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

    Gadkari said that during the recent summit of heads of African nations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had expressed keenness that India should join hands with African nations for building roads and ports there.

    In reply to a query, Gadkari said India is keen to beef up its ties with China too. 

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