Dhaka-Vienna air connectivity draft agreement gets Cabinet nod

The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of an air services agreement to be signed with Austria for direct flight operations between Dhaka and Vienna.

The approval came from the weekly Cabinet meeting held virtually with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The PM joined the meeting through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban, while other cabinet members joined from the Secretariat.

“If the direct flight operation is introduced between Dhaka to Vienna, the trade, business and labour market as well as cooperation in industrial, health and defence sectors will be expanded between the two countries. Besides, the air communication with other European countries will be easier,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said at a press briefing after the meeting.

There are headquarters of some international agencies in Vienna, Austria’s capital. So, this air connectivity is important for Bangladesh, he said.

The agreement titled ‘Air services agreement between the Austrian Federal Government and the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh’ has been framed following the standards of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the secretary said.

According to the proposed agreement, the number of passenger and cargo flights can be fixed through negotiation between the countries and the air agencies nominated by two countries can operate seven passenger and cargo flights a week under an MoU to be inked on the signing date of the main agreement, he added.

83pc cabinet decisions implemented

In the meeting, a report on the implementation progress of the decisions of the cabinet was placed, said the Cabinet Secretary. The report shows that some 83 percent of the decisions taken by the cabinet since January 2019 have already been implemented.

The cabinet held 48 meetings and took 427 decisions till September 2020 during the current government formed through the 2018 general election. Of the decisions, 354 (82.9pc) have already been executed and the remaining decisions are under implementation.

The implementation rate of the cabinet decisions was 92.25 percent in 2019, which is higher than 68.64 percent in 2020.

The cabinet took 258 decisions in 2019 and 238 were implemented, while it took 169 decisions in 2020 (till September 30 last) and 116 were executed.

Besides, 37 laws have been enacted and 33 other laws are under the enactment process getting clearance of the Cabinet during the period starting from January 2019.

Moreover, the Cabinet approved 17 policies, guidelines, strategies and action plans as well as endorsed or ratified 19 bilateral and international agreements or protocols in the time.

Source: United News of Bangladesh