200 million dollar credit to Bangladesh would be written off: Mukherjee

Dhaka, May 7 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that India will write off 200 million U.S. dollars of the one billion dollar line of credit offered to Bangladesh.

"You are fully aware that we have extended a line of credit of one billion dollars to Bangladesh. This was agreed upon during the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in January 2010. Projects worth 810 million US dollars have already been identified and works are going on the implementation of these projects. Five projects worth 83 million US dollars contracts have been signed," Mukherjee told media here.

"Today (Sunday), I informed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the decision of the Government of India to treat it as grant, and not a credit of 200 million dollars. Out of this 100 million dollars to 200 million will be grant," Mukherjee added.

Throwing light upon the sensitive issue of border killings, Mukherjee said protecting human life was of prime importance and that the border security forces ahve been advised not to kill people on the border unnecessarily.

"You know these are the issues which ought to be resolved, because we are determined to have good relations between our two neighbours. So far the border issues are concerned, particularly the killings, we condemn the killings from both sides. After all the lives of human beings are precious and all killings are to be condemned. Therefore, we have established a joint mechanism, which will look into these aspects. We have strictly instructed the BSF not to resort to the ultimate shooting and even we are providing them with non-lethal weapons so that the human life is not lost," he added.

Commenting on the much-debated Teesta river water-sharing dispute, Mukherjee said that the issue was crucial and needed to be resolved amicably.

"As far as the water sharing arrangement of Teesta is concerned, there are certain issues which have to be resolved, and we are trying to resolve it, to build up a consensus, because water is a very sensitive issue. But on the ground reality, very recently the experts of both sides met and they assessed the water availability both at Gajoldobha and Dalia. There the water flow is normal, which is continuing over the years, there has not been any reduction," said Mukherjee.

Earlier, Mukherjee attended the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

In 2010, the prime ministers of the two countries decided to jointly celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore, who is revered by both. y Mrityunjay Singh (ANI)