Minister's tour in India finished
with a signal of gas pipeline
By Nyo Tun
Dhaka, Dec 16: Even though Bangladesh’s
Finance Minister, M Saifur Rahman,
did not discuss the issue of the transnational gas pipeline connecting Burma,
India, and Bangladesh
during his meeting with the premier of India,
he discussed the issue with some ministers of India,
according to local sources.
But he did not say whether the discussion of gas pipeline
issue is progressive or not.
He returned to Dhaka last week after
completing his five-day visit to India.
During his trip, he met a number of Indian ministers.
On the sidelines of the Indian Economic Summit on December
7th, M Rahman had told journalists that Bangladesh
seriously considered allowing the construction of a gas pipeline through its
territory to carry natural gas from Burma
Finance Minister discussed the gas pipeline issue not only the Indian
journalists but also some ministers of India.
But we didn't receive any details information that he discussed the issue with
some ministers from India,”
a Burmese dissident in New Delhi
cabinet recently held several meetings to discuss the possibility of a gas
pipeline from Burma
to India via Bangladesh.
The pipeline would generate over $100 million per year for Bangladesh.
A local business firm, Bangladesh Mohona
Holdings Limited, has submitted a proposal about the construction of the gas
pipeline to the Bangladeshi government since 1996, but the government has not
reached a decision.
present government was also intending to sell its gas to India,
but this is now on hold, as the people of Bangladesh
are strongly opposed to the government’s plan.
Analysts claim that the construction of a gas pipeline to Burma
through its territory is presenting the Bangladeshi government with a moral
dilemma, as most of the Burmese people are against selling gas to India.
The people the Arakan
State in Burma,
from where the gas would be extracted, oppose selling the gas to India,
since the sale would only benefit Burma’s
military government and not the people.
“We strongly condemn those who are in cooperation with Burma’s
military government over the sale of Arakan gas. By
selling the gas, the Burmese military will obtain a significant amount of
foreign currency for the purchase of arms to oppress our people. So all neighbouring countries need to consider this reality”, said
an Arakanese campaigner against the sale of gas in Bangladesh.
However, in January, Bangladesh’s
government will sit with India
and Burma in Rangoon
to discuss cooperating on the transnational -gas pipeline issue. #
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