The Finance Minister of Bangladesh Abul Mal Abdul Muhith, a Harvard educated and a man of versatile knowledge, who is not only an economist but also an historian, got involved in politics when he was a student and was sent to jail for this. Having completed student life, he joined civil service and promoted as Secretary of ministry. After leaving bureaucracy, he joined politics. He was elected as an MP, and now is the finance Minister of Bangladesh. He has a vast knowledge on regional and international history and economy.
In a discussion, I asked him about the economical aspect with Assam (an eastern province of India) and Bangladesh. He told that transit through Bangladesh and free trade with Bangladesh would help Assam’s socio-economy. Bangladesh and the Indian province Assam both will be benefited from transit and the free trade. He added that, now Assam is a backward and deprived province of India. They do not get the proper facility from present rising economy and progress of India. Their economy depends only on agriculture; they are not advanced with industry. Therefore, Assam’s socio- economic condition is not equal to other parts of the India. The people of Assam have a buying capacity but it is poor. They can strengthen their economy and the buying capacity of the people through industrialization. They have lot of hydropower, but they cannot utilize it due to inconvenience of transit.
However, if Assam gets all kind of transit facility through Bangladesh then they will be able to utilize their hydropower at the fullest capacity. Then they will be able to set-up industry and they can sell their hydropower to Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a big market of their hydropower. Besides that, Assam would be a natural big market of Bangladeshi products. Assam is also a market of Bangladeshi products now, but it is a small market. This market will be bigger if Assam gets transit facility and able to set-up industry. It is obvious that, if Assam gets transit facility they will be able to set-up industry. Then buying capacity of the people of the Assam will be rising rapidly. After rising buying capacity of the people of Assam, Bangladesh will be able to enter in the Assam’s market in a large scale. Besides that, hydropower can be used in joint venture. India and Bangladesh can set-up industry jointly using the hydropower of Assam. Then Bangladesh can sell their commodities in Assam and India can use the transit facility for that produced goods. Therefore, transit through Bangladesh and free trade with Bangladesh can change the socio- economy condition of Assam.
Swadesh Roy is the Executive Editor of Daily Janakantha published from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He can be reached via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.