The Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) is a long-established protocol on trade and transit through the inland waterways of India and Bangladesh. Through this protocol, the inland vessel of India can transit through the specified route of Bangladesh and vice-versa.
The Indo Bangladesh Protocol was first signed in 1972, immediately after Bangladesh gained independence. It was renewed for five years in 2015, with the provision of automatic renewal for another five years.
The Second Addendum to the Indo Bangladesh Protocol was signed on 20th May 2020 at Dhaka in Bangladesh. It includes the provisions for extending protocol routes, including some new routes, and declaring new Ports of Call to further strengthen the trade between India and Bangladesh. The decision was taken based on the discussions between the two countries in 2018 and 2019.
Indo Bangladesh Protocol - Second Addendum Important Facts
Addition of Routes -
- The number of IBP routes increased to 10 in the Second Addendum. Previously there were 8.
- The Sonamura-Daudkandi stretch of the Gumti river is included as IBP routes no 9 and 10, connecting all existing routes from 1 to 8. The routes will connect Tripura and other adjoining states with the economic centres of both nations.
- The extended routes- Rajshahi-Dhulian-Rajshahi are set to operationalize. This will help improve the infrastructure in Bangladesh by reducing the cost of transporting stone chips and stone aggregates to the country. Further, it will reduce congestion in Customs Stations in both countries.
- Similarly, Kolaghat in India has been added to routes 1 and 2 (Kolkata-Silghat-Kolkata) and routes 3 and 4 (Kolkata-Karimganj-Kolkata)
- Further, routes 3 and 4 (Kolkata-Karimganj-Kolkata) and 7 and 8 (Karimganj-Silghat-Karimganj) have been extended up to Ghorasal in Bangladesh and Badarpur in India.
Ports of Call -
The Second Addendum to the Indo Bangladesh Protocol has added five more ports of call to the already existing six ports of call, totalling to eleven. In addition, two ports have also been extended in each country. As such, the total ports of call of the two countries (old and new) stand as follows:
(New and extended ports in bold)
Ports of Call
Extended Ports of Call
Ports of Call
Extended Ports of Call
Both countries have also decided to initiate trade between Chilmari in Bangladesh and Dhubri in India through shallow draft mechanized vessels. It will allow easy export of stone chips and other cargos to Bangladesh, strengthening the local economy of the lower Assam region of India.
Indo Bangladesh Protocal Significance
- The new Indo Bangladesh Protocol route will help strengthen bilateral trade between the two countries by improving reliability and cost-effectiveness. It will benefit both countries' common people and the business community.
- By providing faster, safer, and greener modes of transport for traders, the protocol will also provide environmental benefits for the region.
- The Indo Bangladesh Protocol will play a pivotal role in turning India's Northeast regions into a connectivity hub for cargo movements, thus fuelling their growth.
- The Indo Bangladesh Protocol also promotes connectivity with other neighbouring countries. It is bound to smoothen trade between landlocked countries like Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar.
FAQs on Indo Bangladesh Protocol
Q.1. What is the Indo Bangladesh Protocol?
The Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) is a protocol on trade and transit through inland waterways of India and Bangladesh. Through this protocol, the inland vessel of India can transit through the specified route of Bangladesh and vice-versa.
Q.2. When was the Indo Bangladesh Protocol first inked?
The Indo Bangladesh Protocol was first inked in 1972.
Q.3. When was the Second Addendum to the Indo Bangladesh Protocol signed?
The Second Addendum to the Indo Bangladesh Protocol was signed on 20th May 2020 at Dhaka in Bangladesh.
Q.4. What are the key highlights of the Second Addendum to Indo Bangladesh Protocol?
The number of Indo-Bangladesh Protocol routes has increased from 8 to 10. Also, five more ports of call are added to the already existing six ports of call.
Q.5. Which route has been added as routes 9 and 10 in the Second Addendum to Indo Bangladesh Protocol?
The Sonamura-Daudkhandi stretch of Gumti river (93 Km) is included as Indo Bangladesh Protocol routes no 9 and 10, connecting all existing routes from 1 to 8.