Dhaka delays response to MoU for Myanmar gas

Vol 9, PW 5 (16 Jun 05) News in Brief

Hopes are fading for an early MoU for an overland gas pipeline from Myanmar to India through Bangladesh.

Ministry officials tell this report they are waiting for Dhaka to respond to Indian suggestions on a trilateral MoU. We have given our formula of the MoU to Bangladesh, reveals a source, but we have not yet heard from them.

Still in dispute is Dhakas insistence on inclusion of several bilateral commercial issues between India and Bangladesh in the MoU, something Delhi opposes. We have told them it is not a good idea to mention specific issues unrelated to the pipeline in a trilateral MoU, he adds.

The pipeline should not be hostage to bilateral issues. If bilateral issues are spelt out in a trilateral MoU somebody can rake up an issue unrelated to the pipeline at every stage.

India is offering to include only a passing reference to bilateral issues in the MoU, saying they will be examined as and when they arise.