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Bangladesh is likely to get fresh Indian loan  

28 January 2017, 11:29:20

Staff Correspondent: India is likely to provide credit assistance to Bangladesh under its fresh 3rd Line of Credit (LoC) as the government has so far identified eight projects following the Indian government's request.

“Although the overall size of the Line of Credit is yet to be finalized, but the Ministry of External Affairs of India has requested Bangladesh to identify and finalise projects under its fresh credit line,” said an Economic Relations Division (ERD) official.

The official preferring anonymity said the government has identified eights projects involving an estimated cost of around $1170 million. However, more projects would be included in the list with the passage of time.

The ERD official also informed that various Ministries and Divisions proposed some 26 projects under the fresh Indian LoC while an inter-ministerial meeting identified eight projects for implementation under the Indian credit.

Of the selected eight projects, three are from the Ministry of Shipping, two from the Ministry of Railways while one each from the Ministry of Water Resources, the Civil Aviation and Tourism and the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority.

Out of the rest of 18 projects, the government has recently decided to drop five projects from the list while decisions on 13 other projects are pending and will be informed to the Economic Relations Division (ERD).

He said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to visit India in the next couple of months where her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi could announce the 3rd Line of Credit in continuation of its 1st and 2nd LoCs.

Another high official at the ERD told this correspondent that Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque visited India in November last where his Indian counterpart S Jayshankar requested Shahidul to prepare fresh list of projects to be implemented under Indian 3rd LoC prioritizing infrastructure, poverty alleviation and such projects which could play an important role in boosting regional communication.

After the visit, the ERD high official said the Foreign Secretary sent a letter to the ERD requesting it to select new projects for the Indian fresh LoC.

The selected eight projects are Buriganga River Restoration (New Dhaleswari-Pungli-Bangshi-Turag-Buriganga River System) project at an estimated cost of $ 196.18 m, Ashuganj-Jakiganj route at $ 38 m, Payra Port Multipurpose Terminal at $ 350 m, Construction of new dual gauge rail line from Bogra to Shaheed M Mansur Ali Rail Station in Sirajganj at $ 501.23 m, Upgradation of LCSs to ICPs on both sides, Development of rail and road-based ICD at $35 m, Mirersarai EPZ (1000 acres) at $ 50 m and Upgradation of Sayedpur Airport.

Talking to UNB recently, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan said that the government is working on finalising the projects under the India's proposed 3rd Line of Credit.

“The government has so far identified eight projects and the 3rd Line of Credit is likely to be announced during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India,”

Earlier on March 9 last year, the government signed an agreement with Indian EXIM Bank to receive $2 billion 2nd Indian Line of Credit against 14 development projects in the country's various sectors.

Under the Indian 2nd LoC, 14 social and infrastructure development projects in power, railways, road, transportation, ICT, shipping, health and technical education sectors were identified for implementation. Out of the 14 projects, India has so far given approval to nine projects.

Out of the overall cost of these nine projects, the Indian government would provide $ 1221.54 million while the rest $ 374.46 million would come from the state exchequer.

The $ 2 billion LoC is the biggest credit line that India has so far extended to any country. The first Line of Credit of $ 1 billion was extended by India to Bangladesh in 2010.

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