Indo-Bangla Talks Underway on Sharing of Teesta, Feni Waters

Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said this in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Published: 23rd July 2015 08:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2015 08:32 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed to Bangladesh that deliberations are underway for conclusion of an interim agreement on sharing waters of rivers Teesta and Feni as soon as possible, the Centre said today.

Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said this in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

The Government of India has been in discussion with the Government of Bangladesh to have an agreement on sharing of common rivers including Teesta on a fair and equitable basis.

Specifically, he said, the issue of signing of agreement on Teesta river has been discussed by the two governments at various levels including Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) meeting at the level of water resources ministers, technical level meeting of JRC, Joint Consultative Commission meeting at the level of external affairs minister and the meeting of secretaries of water resources.

Union government has also discussed all points involved with the government of West Bengal at appropriate levels and endeavour of the government is to arrive at an agreement on Teesta waters, which is acceptable to all the parties concerned, which protects the interest of all stake holders, he said.

"During the recent visit of Dhaka in June 2015, Prime Minister conveyed that the the deliberations are underway involving all stakeholders with regard to conclusion of the interim agreement on sharing of water of rivers Teesta and Feni as soon as possible," Jat said.

CJP's trustees have never been paid even a rupee by way of 'sitting fees' or any other remuneration. From 2002 till date, only Teesta Setalvad has been paid an average honorarium of around Rs. 16,000 pm, the reply to the Home Ministry said.

Sources said during the probe under FCRA, it was found that Teesta and her husband were running a magazine "Communalism Combat" as co-editors as well as printer and publisher of their company Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Ltd (SCPPL) and allegedly received foreign contribution.

Under FCRA, no foreign contribution shall be accepted by any correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publisher of a registered newspaper.

CJP, which has been fighting cases for victims of 2002 Gujarat riots, had received a total foreign contribution of around Rs 1.18 crore from 2008-09 to 2013-14. According to the notice, more than 80 per cent or nearly Rs 95 lakh was spent for legal aid.

While the entity was registered for 'Educational and Economic' purposes, it received foreign contribution for activities such as 'Legal Aid' which is covered under purpose 'Social'. Hence, it violated FCRA rules, they contended.

  "On review of vouchers of the Association, it was found that Sabrang Trust have made payment of Rs 12 lakh from FCRA designated account to Citi Bank and Union Bank of India on account of credit facilities taken through credit cards belonging to Setalvad and Anand.

"This amounts to use of foreign contribution for the purposes not authorised as per the provisions of FCRA 2010. Thus, the Association has violated Section 8(1) (a) of FCRA 2010," the Home Ministry notice said.

Government has already asked CBI to probe the receipt of over Rs 3 crore by Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited from foreign donors, including US-based Ford Foundation, in alleged violation of FCRA.

Government had already frozen the bank account of the firm, located in Mumbai, as the Home Ministry claimed that it was not authorised to receive funds from abroad as it was not registered under FCRA.


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