The government on Friday signed an agreement with Exim Bank of China for taking $2.67-billion in hard loan for Padma Bridge railway link project.
The loan agreement was signed at the Exim Bank of China’s head office in Beijing in the morning, said a press release of Bridges Division.
Additional secretary of Economic Relations Division M Zahidul Haq and China Exim Bank vice-president Sun Ping signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.
A six-member Bangladesh delegation is now visiting China.
The government’s non-concessional loan committee, headed by finance minister AMA Muhith, earlier in March approved the hard loan from the China bank to construct the railway line.
The Padma Bridge rail-link project was approved by the government nearly two years ago at a cost of Tk 34,988.85 crore (around $3.1 billion) and later China Railway Group Limited was awarded the multi-billion-dollar project.
The construction work of 225-kilometre rail lines on both sides of Padma Multipurpose Bridge connecting the country’s southern part was scheduled to start in January 2016.
Exim Bank of China, however, delayed signing of the loan deal by one and a half years.
The remaining Tk 10,239.81 crore of the project will be financed from local sources for the project which was declared ‘fast track’ to highlight the ruling party’s expectation to start train movement from day one of commissioning.
The ERD officials earlier said the Chinese hard loan would have to be repaid in 20 years with 2.0 per cent fixed interest rate.
Besides, 0.25 per cent management fee and 0.25 per cent commitment fee are applicable for the single largest loan from China.
Bridges Division officials said that the construction work of the railway project would start this year.
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