Bangladesh intends to take a final decision on providing transit facilities to India along with Nepal and Bhutan by March, Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith has said.
Talks are under way among the three neighbours on the proposed facility, he said.
"Discussions have started with the countries concerned on the transit facility on the basis of the report of a [Bangladesh] government committee," he said at a press briefing on the sidelines of a meeting of the finance ministers of Saarc countries late yesterday.
He said the report of the committee, which was constituted in 2010, suggested a draft framework agreement covering several issues, including transit routes and fees.
Officials said the core committee led by Tariff Commission chairman Mujibur Rahman prepared its report last month.
But deviating from his earlier comments and the committee's suggestions, the Bangladesh minister said he did not think a general framework agreement was required for transit.
He said the countries to enjoy the transit facility should accept the rules formulated by Bangladesh, referring to the example of Switzerland where the countries that have transit through it accept Swiss rules.
Commerce ministry officials said Bangladesh needs to take a decision by March as the trade and transit protocol with India would expire in a month unless its tenure was extended.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's economic affairs adviser Mashiur Rahman yesterday told a private news agency that Bangladesh would go by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) rules in charging fees.
Bangladesh would not impose any "transit fees" but would rather collect all charges permitted under GATT, he said.
Dhaka - Gulf news