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Modi likely to sign 20 agreements during Bangladesh visit

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Agartala/Guwahati: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Dhaka from Saturday is likely to see the signing of 20 agreements besides talks with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on boosting trade, connectivity and anti-terrorism measures.

Chief ministers of several northeastern states, though they are not accompanying Modi, have requested him to raise the issues of infiltration, border trade and connectivity with Bangladesh.

According to a top Bangladesh government official in Agartala, Modi’s 36-hour stay in Dhaka is likely to see both sides ink as many as 20 agreements.

“Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh could not sign the Teesta treaty due to opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The Teesta water sharing pact will cast a shadow during Modi’s tour,” Tapas Dey, a known expert on Bangladeshi affairs, told IANS

Dey, who visited Bangladesh this week, told IANS: “Though Teesta has been a most fundamental issue for decades, this time both the Awami League government and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have agreed that the issue has some internal implications in Indian politics.”

BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, who refused to pay a courtesy call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in Dhaka in March 2013, is likely to call on Modi.

“This time the BNP has been very positive towards the visit of the Indian prime minister. Modi might meet Khaleda Zia on June 7 on the latter’s request,” Dey said.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who along with other northeastern chief ministers accompanied Manmohan Singh on his Bangladesh visit in September 2011, said Modi’s trip would strengthen bilateral ties.

“The visit is expected to immensely benefit the northeastern states,” Sarkar told IANS. He said it was after Tripura’s pushing that New Delhi agreed to supply 100 MW electricity from a state power plant to power-starved Bangladesh.

Sarkar, a popular face in Bangladesh, said that Dhaka helped “a lot” to tame decades of terrorism in Tripura. He said some camps of northeastern militants still existed in Bangladesh.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has urged Modi to take up issues concerning his state with Hasina.

“Modi should take up the matter of boosting water and surface communication between Assam and Bangladesh and introducing rail links to enhance trade and commercial ties. He must also raise the issue of cross-border infiltration,” Gogoi said in a statement.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma wants more ‘border haats’ (markets) along the India-Bangladesh border.

“Modi can discuss with Hasina about a strategy to develop road connectivity between northeast India and Bangladesh and to use Chittagong port for exports,” Sangma told IANS over telephone.

On June 7, Modi and Hasina would, over video conferencing, jointly inaugurate a ‘border haat’ at Kamalasagar in western Tripura’s Sipahijala district, which borders Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh.

The ‘border haat’ will be the second in Tripura and the fourth on the India-Bangladesh border. The Indian commerce ministry is footing the cost of the border haats to boost trade in local produce.

Modi and Hasina are to flag off two bus services: between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh as well as between Dhaka and Guwahati via Meghalaya capital Shillong and Bangladeshi city Sylhet.

The trial runs have already been conducted.

Both sides are likely to ink an agreement on coastal shipping and effective use of water ways, on tackling human trafficking, besides operationalizing the historic land (enclaves) swap agreement.

“Setting up Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh by India is likely to be discussed,” a Bangladesh official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Noted economist Sekhar Paul told IANS: “Economic cooperation between India and Bangladesh must go hand in hand with strong political support.”

Modi met Hasina on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September and at the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November.

India shares a 4,096-km border, including 1,116-km riverine one, with Bangladesh, the longest border India has with any of its neighbours.

Besides West Bengal (2,216 km), the four northeastern states of Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km) together share 1,880 km of border with Bangladesh. (IANS)

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Greet nation on Diwali

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Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation. VOA

New Delhi, October 19: President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday greeted the nation on Diwali.

Modi said: Deepawali ke pawan parv par sabhi deshvasio ko hardik shubhkamnaye #HappyDiwali to everyone! (On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, greetings to the nation).”

Rajnath Singh said: “Warm greetings and best wishes to you and your entire family on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali. Wishing you a Shubh and #HappyDeepawali.” (IANS)

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PM Modi is Optimistic about NDA’s Reforms to Boost Up Indian Economy

Lashing out at the critics, the Prime Minister elucidated about his government’s firm determination to boost up India’s economy. Admitting the economic plummet witnessed during the span of April-June, Modi declared that his government was devoted to back-pedal the mishaps due to the structural reforms of the economy. Let us look at what PM Modi said in his speech.

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Challenges to Modi Government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

After facing severe criticisms over economic deceleration for a very long time, Modi finally broke his silence while addressing the Golden Jubilee Year Celebrations of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) in Delhi. Lashing out at the critics, the Prime Minister elucidated about his government’s firm determination to boost up Indian Economy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization policy brought down the country’s GDP growth rate to a mere 6.1%. The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) added to the plight of already sick Indian economy.

Admitting the economic plummet witnessed during the span of April-June, Modi declared that his government was devoted to back-pedal the mishaps due to the structural reforms of the Indian economy. Let us look at what PM Modi said in his speech.

On Economic Reforms

PM Modi was very straightforward to acknowledge the economic slump caused. He assured that the BJP government was capable of reversing the trend and would take important decisions in that direction. Further, the Prime Minister informed that a cleanliness campaign has been started to remove the people who try to undermine the nation’s unity and integrity. Under this cleanliness campaign, a Special Investigation Team (STI) has started working ever since the Modi government came to power.

On Critics

Welcoming the constructive criticisms, Modi declared that his government is sensitive enough to accept the prevailing denigrations in the Indian economy and are rectifying their mistakes. The Prime Minister opined that people have the right to criticize the wrong, but one should restrain from fabricating an environment of panic in the country. Further, he added that his government has started working towards the “development of new India, new culture, new celebration, and new traditions.” Some people do not welcome the reforms even though they are good for the nation simply because they are anti-BJP. “People who sleep well only after spreading pessimism about government’s economic reforms need to be combated”, emphasized Modi.

Past Economic Deceleration

After achieving a whopping growth of 7.5% over the last three years, Modi acknowledged that the growth rates dropped sharply in April-June but the BJP government would not sit back until putting Indian economy on firm footing. While addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled a time when Indian economy growth rate was as low as 0.2% under the previous government thereby emphasizing the fact that India can recover from the economic sluggishness.

Mainstreaming Informal Sector

Encouraging the movement from the informal sector to mainstream economy, PM Modi assured, “People coming to mainstream fear that their old records may be reopened. We will not let that happen because earlier their old way of business was necessitated by prevailing circumstances. Nothing is more sinful than blocking those who want to come to the mainstream. Let bygones be bygones.”

On Doklam

Many people opined that the BJP Government would not be able to handle the Doklam crisis. Describing the censurers as hypocrites, Modi elucidated that “when the economic growth is favorable, it is the same people who like the institutes and process; but the moment situation becomes unfavorable to them, they say that the system is not right, the process is not right, people working in it are not right and just accuse people.” The Prime Minister also held the view that before drawing any conclusion, it is imperative to identify these people at once.

On Transport System

Modi made a comparative study of the BJP government with the previous ones. He argued that in its last three years, the UPA government constructed National Highways spanning an area of 15,000km while the period under his government has witnessed the construction of more than 34,000km National Highways. As far as the construction sector is concerned, Modi claimed that the total number of foreign investment has increased by 75% from 2014-2017. The foreign direct investment in the air transport sector has also registered a growth by 69% in the past three years. Likewise, in the mining sector, there has been an increase by 56%.
The Prime Minister also told that the BJP government is trying to increase the speed of development while creating a large number of job opportunities. He added that the government knows the value of the hard-earned money and thus their policies are aimed at improving the lives of poor and middle class. Moreover, most of the government schemes are launched to empower the poor. What affects them the most is corruption and black money estimated Modi.

– Prepared by Mohima Haque of Newsgram
Twitter: mohimahaque26

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PM Narendra Modi: Don’t believe in vote bank politics, Nation comes first

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

Varanasi, Sep 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, said that the BJP did not believe in vote bank politics as the country was above party politics. This is his second day of the visit to his parliamentary constituency in Varanasi.

Modi told a gathering that he had launched a major war against corruption and the corrupt to ease the life of the common man. He also said cleanliness was worship for him as it could rid the poor of various diseases and a lot of economic burdens.

“Governance for us is not about votes or winning elections. The priority is the development of the nation. For us, the country is bigger than party,” he said, in his address to farmers in Shahanshahpur on the outskirts of Varanasi.

He said most of the problems faced by the common people in India were rooted in corruption.

“I have launched a war against it and will take it further to ensure that graft is weeded out from the country.”(IANS)