President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday approved the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) just days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka. The move is expected to help India strengthen its ties with its eastern neighbour.
Quoting Parliament sources, PTI reported that the President gave his assent to the Constitution (100th Amendment) Bill 2015 to ratify a 1974 agreement on the demarcation of a section of India-Bangladesh border and transfer of territories. A gazette notification has already been issued, the report says.
The 1974 pact was signed between the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and former Bangladesh President Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. It was ratified by India's Parliament in May 2015, followed by Bangladeshi Parliament.
The PTI report said quoting sources that though it was a Constitutional Amendment Bill, its provisions did not require ratification by 50% of the legislatures in 29 states.
The bill will ensure the demarcation of border and an exchange of over 160 enclaves between the two neighbours. While Bangladesh will receive 111 enclaves (land-locked territories within the borders of the other nations) spread over 17,160 acre from India, the latter will receive 51 enclaves in around 7,110 acre area from Bangladesh.
The Centre had earlier managed to convince the parties concerned, particularly the ruling party in West Bengal - Trinamool Congress - which shares borders with Bangladesh, before getting it passed in both the Houses of Parliament. The Centre has agreed to sanction around ₹3,000 crore for the rehabilitation of people being affected by this enclave swapping.
Prime Minister Modi is leaving on a two-day visit to Dhaka on 6 June.