PROPOSED $4.5B INDIAN LOC

Delhi attaches further stringent conditions

Shakahwat Hossain | Published: 00:54, Sep 17,2017 | Updated: 01:02, Sep 17,2017

 
 

India has tagged new conditions, including her mandatory approval for procurement of goods and services for the implementation of projects in Bangladesh with the proposed $4.5 billion Indian line of credit.
Officials said that the ministries and divisions would need to seek approval from the Indian government for each of the project components separately as stated in the draft loan agreement forward by New Delhi to Dhaka in August.
In April, India offered Bangladesh $4.5 billion loan known as the third line of credit during the visit of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to Delhi.
Officials at the ministries and divisions who are now discussing with the Economic Relations Division on the draft agreement said that the new conditions would delay the implementation of the projects.
At a meeting with the Economic Relations Division on September 14, they also expressed reservation about the limited tendering process for procurement of goods and services from Indian suppliers only, said the officials.
ERD secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam, however, said that rules and conditions of the third line of credit were almost similar to that of the first and second lines of credit.
India extended loans of $1 billion in 2010 and $2 billion in 2016 known as the first and second lines of credit respectively.
As per the conditions of the $2 billion second line of credit extended in March 2026 for the implementation of nine ongoing projects, the ministries and divisions need to procure at least 75 per cent goods and services from India.
For executing civil works or construction related works, the ministries and divisions require to procure at least 65 per cent goods from India.
Kazi Shofiqul Azam told New Age on Saturday that they were taking opinions from the ministries and divisions on the draft line of credit.
He said that necessary steps would be taken to change the draft agreement if the implementing ministries and divisions found the conditions not suitable for timely and successful implementation of the projects.
Both Dhaka and Delhi have committed to finalise the terms and condition of the third line of credit by October to start the implementation of 15 projects identified already.
ERD officials hinted that two more projects might be included.
The projects include upgrading Benapole-Jessore-Narail-Bhatiapara-Bhanga Road (135km), Ramgarh-Baruerhat Road (35km) and Comilla (Maynamati)-Brahmanbaria-Sarail Road into 4-lane.
Besides, supply of equipments for establishment of the Mollahat 100MW Solar PV Power Plant, supply of machinery for solid waste management in Dhaka South City and installation of one lakh LED street lights in Dhaka, Chittagong and Rajshahi are among the other indentified projects.
ERD officials said that the ministries and divisions found it difficult to implement 15 projects with the loan of $1 billion under the first line of credit in the past six years because of tough conditions attached by Delhi.
Most of the projects were linked with procurement of buses and trucks for loss making Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation and Bangladesh Railway while India converted about $138 into grant.
Only nine projects at the estimated cost of $1.5billion have so far been identified with the ongoing second line of credit.

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