Chittagong, Feb 5 (bdnews24.com)—The head of an independent think tank has weighed in over the debate of transit to India, saying those who are opposing the move are not well informed about its benefit.
"Those, who say it won't be right to be connected with India under the regional plan, are wrong," said Rehman Sobhan, chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, at the inauguration of Bangladesh Economic Council's Chittagong chapter conference on Saturday.
"Bangladesh is the only country to see debate over transit, which is very usual through borders," he added.
"I think it's a debate of ignorant people," the veteran economist added.
Other speakers at the conference also advocated for transit, saying that the country's economy would develop fast using the two sea ports.
Finance minister A M A Muhith on Nov 2 last year said, "Bangladesh is geographically a transit country and those who deny it are fools."
"While no Value Added Tax (VAT) can be imposed on transit, it can, however, be levied in case of transshipment. But as we will have to allow others to use Bangladeshi land for transit, some charges may be imposed for that," the minister said.
India is currently using Bangladeshi waterways as transit.
BNP chief Khaleda Zia on Nov 7 the same year demanded cancellation of the transit plan to India, claiming that the government was moving against the country's interest.
"They kept saying transit will bring us billions. Bangladesh would become a Singapore. Now they are saying there will be no duties on transit. This is how they plan to sacrifice the country's interests and become a useless and servile nation," she added.