Bangladesh and India has agreed to form a Joint Technical Group (JTG) to examine and explore the opportunity and scope of technical and financial issues for establishing a 765 kV transmission line, part of the “Super Highway Grid Connection” of India for electricity transmission from its eastern region to the western region through Bangladesh. This decision was taken at a Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting at Sylhet on Tuesday; however, the JTG has been asked to submit its report within next 90 days.
The meeting also decided that the next JSC meeting will be held in Bangalore of India in January 2019.”The secretary-level meeting also discussed 12 other issues, including the ‘Guidelines on Cross-Border Trade of Electricity’, tax exemption on electricity import from India, construction of 765 kilo-voltage interconnection line from India’s Katihat to Bornagar via Parbatipur of Bangladesh, 400KV DC line between Surjamaninagar of India and Cumilla of Bangladesh, progress on import of electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh generated by GMR, India through NVVN, tripartite investment by Bangladesh, India and Bhutan in hydro power project in Bhutan and Bangladesh’s import of electricity”, a senior official of the Power Division told.
The two-day JSC meeting concluded on Tuesday without publishing any ‘joint declaration’ or anything like that as both the parties decided that the negotiation was going on, the official added. “From our side we raised the tax-VAT exemption and ‘Guidelines on Cross-Border Trade of Electricity’ issues at the meeting. The Indian Power Secretary apprised us that they will send the issue to the Finance Ministry as it is related with them,” the Power Division secretary said.He said that India wants corridor facility for electricity transmission from its eastern part to the western part through Bangladesh using a 765 kV transmission line, a transmission infrastructures to facilitate transmission of approximately 4,000 MW of hydropower of which Bangladesh would be allowed to buy up to 1,000 MW.
“Although the project is an immature one so the technical committee group has been formed,” he said. According to the officials, Bangladesh discussed the ‘Guidelines on Cross-Border Trade of Electricity’ law as Indian power regulatory body adopted this new law on December 5 in 2016 to regulate its electricity trade with its neighbours. “India has adopted the new trade guideline that allows only bilateral deal for importing power. But Bangladesh has been negotiating with Nepal and Bhutan for setting up mega hydroelectric power projects with the consent of India for importing electricity through the Indian corridor. So we want to discuss the issue in the meeting if they allow,” an official said. Presently, Bangladesh is importing 964 MW of electricity from India.