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Chinese fund worth $18b sought for 26 dev projects

By Special Correspondent
28th-Jul-2020       
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Special Correspondent :
Bangladesh has sought US$18 billion Chinese funds for implementing 26 priority projects whose implementation has been delayed for years due to lack of foreign assistance.
The fund is out of the total $24.5 billion committed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Dhaka in October 2016, official sources said.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) under the Ministry of Finance has recently sent a letter to the Chinese government seeking the fund under the Government Concessional Loan / Preferential Buyer's Credit ( GCL/PBC).
The letter referred to the MoU on "Strengthening and Production Capacity Cooperation" signed during the visit of Chinese President where 27 projects are included.
"It is to be mentioned that under the MoU loan agreements of six (6) projects have been signed and more projects are in the process of finalization," read the letter, signed by ERD's Deputy Chief Masuma Akter.    
ERD in the letter sought Chinese fund for remaining 17 projects in line with the discussions in the first meeting of the Investment Cooperation Working Group between Bangladesh and China held on December 2, 2019.
These are Power Grid Network Strengthening Project under PGCB ($970.02 million), Construction of Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway ($1155.18 million), Establishing Digital Connectivity ($837 million), Balancing, Modernisation, Rehabilitation and Expansion of the Public Sector Jute Mills ($280 million), Chinese
Economic and Industrial Zones in Chattogram ($ 221.18 million), Construction of double (Duel Gauge) line between Joydebpur and Ishwardi Section ($1045.59 million), Rajshahi WASA Surface Water Treatment Plant Project ($276.25 million), Establishment of Full-fledged 06 TV Station of Bangladesh Television ($125.12 million), Conversion of MG Railway Track into DG Railway Track in Akhaura to Sylhet Section of BR ($1272.93 million), Expansion and Modernization of Mongla Port Facilities ($353.52 million), System loss reduction by replacing 5 million Electro Mechanical Energy Meter with Electronic Energy Meter ($467.95 million), Construction of a DG Track Parallel to the existing MG line in Joydebpur-Mymensingh-Jamalpur Section ($581.26 million), Construction of Marine Drive Expressway and Coastal Protection Works from Shitakunda-Chattogram-Cox's Bazar ($2856.56 million), Construction of New Inland Container Depot (ICD) near Dhirasram Railway Station ($200 million), Replacement of overloaded distribution Transformer for providing reliable electricity in RE system ($230.59 million), Water Supply, Sanitation, Drainage and Solid Waste Management for small size Pourashavas (Municipalities) ($150 million) and Modernization of Rural and Urban Lives in Bangladesh through ICT ($500 million).          
 The letter also requested the Chinese authorities to exclude four projects-- Dhaka-Sylhet Four Lane Highway, Extension of the existing underground mining operation of Barapukuria Coal mine adjacent the southern and the northern side of the Basin to increase the present production capacity of the Barapukuria coal mine, Pre-payment Metering Project for BPDB's Distribution Zones, and Gazaria 350 MW Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant--citing that these projects would be implemented with support of other sources.  
The letter however requested for Chinese financing in nine new development projects as per the decision of the first meeting of the Investment Cooperation Working Group between Dhaka and Beijing.
These are: Establishment of Sheikh Hasina Institute of Information Technology and Hi-Tech Park ($155.41 million), Construction of the Sewerage Collection System under Dasherkandi STP catchment of Dhaka city ($120.22 million), Expansion of Strengthening of Power System Network under DPDC area (PGCB part) ($805.35 million, Teesta River Comprehensive Management and Restoration Project ($883.05 million), Procurement of six ships ($250 million), Improvement of Barishal-Patuakhali-Kuakata Road to a four-lane highway, including SMV lane on both sides ($535.92 million), Construction of Bhola Bridge on Barishal -Bhola Road over the river of Tetulia and Kalabadar ($1226.85 million), Construction of Core Port Infrastructure ( 1st phase) of Payra Port ($1668 million), and Construction of High-Tech Bridge on Rural Roads in Bangladesh ($800 million).

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