Bangladesh and India are likely to sign a total of 10 to 12 memoranda of understanding during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to the neighbouring country from October 3 to October 6.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen made the disclosure at a press briefing in his office on Wednesday.
The bilateral instruments that are likely to be signed during the visit will cover wide range of areas including youth and sports, shipping, culture, economy, sea research, standardisation of products, trade and commerce, education, information technology and establishment of special economic zones.
"How many memoranda of understanding will be signed is not fixed yet. But the number will be between 10 and 12," said Dr Momen.
However, the foreign minister said some 11 issues will be placed on the table for an extensive discussion when the prime ministers of both the countries sit in a meeting.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will take part at the India Economic Summit, organised by the World Economic Forum on October 3 and 4.
On October 5, the Bangladesh premier will hold a bilateral discussion with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
Replying to a query, the foreign minister said the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) issue will not be discussed during the visit as India has already assured Bangladesh that it will not affect the country.
Responding to another question, Momen said, "They are doing their jobs and we are doing ours."
Deal on India's use of Chattogram and Mongla ports
Signing a deal on the use of Chattogram and Mongla seaports by India to carry goods to its seven northeastern states will be a top agenda.
In October last year, Bangladesh signed a primary agreement with India on the use of the ports.
Now a deal will be signed on the standard operating procedure of these two ports, sources at the shipping ministry told The Business Standard.
But no feasibility study has yet been conducted on the degree of pressure the seaports will have to undergo if neighbouring countries are allowed to use the ports, according to the sources.
However, the agreement will incorporate the issues of port charges, fees on Indian goods, safety and the extent of rebate for India on international goods transportation.
The officials also said India wants to use Bangladesh's two main seaports due to their convenient geological locations.
The use of these ports will benefit India in transporting goods to its northeastern states and also to Nepal and Bhutan.
Unresolved water-sharing issues
The issues in signing water treaties for Teesta, Feni, Dudhkumar, Gomoti Khoai and Dharla rivers will also be in focus during the bilateral meeting.
Moreover, Bangladesh will strongly demand a resolve to the problems regarding the common rivers.
There is an unresolved issue regarding the two kilometres of the Muhuri River in Feni. If an agreement is not reached quickly, Bangladesh might lose the claim over the disputed land, feared officials concerned.
Foreign ministry officials said the issue of delimiting the lands near the Ichhamati, Kalindi and Harivanga rivers will also be discussed in the meeting between the two premiers.
Bangladesh will also discuss forming of a committee for the survey of the Ganga Barrage project. The decision to run a survey was taken at a secretary-level meeting on August 7 and 8 last, added the foreign ministry sources.
Agreement signing to increase trade and financial cooperation
Sources said a framework agreement will be inked between the two countries on setting up of a branch of India's Exim Bank in Dhaka to expedite Bangladeshi projects, financed by the Indian Line of Credit.
A number of trade-related issues, which will come on the table for discussion, include removal of anti-dumping duty on Bangladeshi products by India, acceptance of Bangladesh Standards and
Testing Institution certification and increasing the number of import-export products in the product list.
Improving physical and non-physical connectivity between the countries will also be highlighted.
Bangladesh eyes increased trade with India
Furthermore, Bangladesh now not only wants to import electricity from India but also plans export it to the neighbouring country. Dhaka will prioritise this issue during the PM's India visit.
Bangladesh tabled the proposal over the cooperation in the power sector of both the countries in a Joint Steering Committee meeting held in Dhaka on August 25 and 26 last.
Relevant sources said Bangladesh is now capable of producing more electricity than the local demand. So, Bangladesh wants to sell this surplus power to India, especially during the winter when the demand for electricity in the country decreases significantly.
Power division sources said Bangladesh is now capable of generating 18,000 megawatt electricity, while there is a demand for only 12,000 to 13,000 megawatts.
As a result, the capacity for generating around 5,000 megawatts remains unused generally.
Container train service
The Prime Minister's Office sources said India wants to finalise the container train service during the PM's visit to India.
Moreover, India has proposed introducing a freight train service via Petrapole and Benapole land ports.
Businessmen from both India and Bangladesh will be able to transport their goods easily once this service is introduced.
The Container Corporation of India and the Bangladesh Container Company signed a memorandum of understanding in 2017 while Sheikh Hasina was on a visit India.
On April 3, 2018, a container train from Kolkata reached the West Railway Station of Bangabandhu Bridge on a trial run, but the service hit a snag over administrative, infrastructure and customs issues.
At present, the two countries have a container train service from Gede in India to Dharshana in Bangladesh.
The foreign minister said a memorandum of understanding on guarding the coastal areas will also be discussed in the bilateral meeting.
Dhaka has already sent a draft agreement to Delhi which is yet to give a reply to it.
Bringing down the number of border killings to zero
During her visit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also discuss the border killing issue, said the foreign minister.
Since January this year, India's Border Security Force (BSF) has killed 13 Bangladeshis, said Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) sources.
According to different human rights organisations, the BSF has killed 414 Bangladeshis and injured 617 more in the last 10 years.
On January 7, 2011, Felani, a 15-year-old girl, was shot dead by the BSF at Anantapur border in Kurigram. The BSF left her body hanging from the barbed-wire fence for four hours. The incident sparked huge criticism.
India repeatedly assured of stopping killings on border, but the promise has not been materialised as yet.
While asked about India's not fulfilling its promise to bringing down the border killing to zero, the foreign minister said earlier the BSF killed Bangladeshi by firing but now the Bangladeshis are beaten to death by the Indians when they cross the border for theft.
In addition to the above mentioned issues, Dhaka will also discuss different aspects about a deal on buying defence equipment from India during the tour.
Apart from these, increasing cooperation between the countries to prevent terrorism and keep regional peace and stability, and the protracted Rohingya crisis will be discussed among other issues.
Discussions will also be held regarding the celebrations of Bangabandhu's birth centenary and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence.
During the visit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will meet Indian President Shree Ram Nath Kovind on October 5 and the next day she will call on Congress leader Soniya Gandhi.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October last year invited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit India.
India's Foreign Minister S Jaishankar handed over the invitation letter to Sheikh Hasina during his visit to Dhaka last month.