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BD seeks $1.37b from India for three projects under LoC-III

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FT ONLINE

Dhaka sent three project proposals to New Delhi recently for getting endorsement of receiving nearly US$1.37 billion fund from the third phase of India’s US$4.5 billion Line of Credit (LoC-III), officials said recently.

Officials at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said that at the initial stage they have sent the fresh project proposals to India for starting the development works soon.

The projects are installation of high-voltage transmission gridline to evacuate power from the Rooppur nuclear power plant, setting up of Sirajganj-Bogra railway line and supply of equipment for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).

The Roopur power evacuation project will require $940 million, the Sirajganj-Bogra railway line $340 million and the equipment supply for the DSCC $40 million.

Bangladesh signed an agreement on LoC-III with India in October last year for implementing 17 development projects.

“We have already sent three project proposals for endorsement by the Indian side. Soon after getting the approval, the government agencies concerned will start the project execution works,” said a senior official at Economic Relations Division (ERD).

He said the ERD would send rest of the projects gradually to New Delhi for the endorsement.

In a review meeting on LoC in December last in New Delhi, both sides had agreed that execution of all the projects under the ongoing $2.0 billion worth of LoC-II and proposed projects under the latest LoC-III will be expedited, the ERD official said.

Bangladesh has taken up 14 projects under the LoC-II and the 17 proposed ones under the LoC-III, officials said. Earlier, Bangladesh had taken 15 projects under the LoC-I.

The government signed an agreement with Indian EXIM Bank for the $2.0 billion LoC-II in March 2016 and $862 million worth of LoC-I after confirming it in August 2010.

Almost all the LoC-I projects, except a couple of them, had already been completed.

The Indian credit bears an interest rate of 1.0 per cent with 0.5 per cent commitment fee. It will have to be repaid in 20 years with five years of grace period.

-SAM

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