** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **

One-third of aid to repay loan

04 March 2014

bdnews24.com :
A third of the loan and foreign aid Bangladesh received during the first half of the current 2013-14 fiscal year (FY) was spent on repaying previous loans and interest, according to the Economic Relations Division (ERD).
Bangladesh received around $1.57 billion from donors during July-Jan period, $14.1 million more compared to the same period of last 2012-13 FY.
During this time, the government repaid $593.2 million in loans and interests, roughly 38 percent of the amount received, data from the ERD indicated.
Bangladesh received $2.78 billion in aid last fiscal - net aid was $1.89 billion and $899.5 million was spent in repaying loans and interests. Finance Minister AMA Muhith hopes the inflow of aid would increase in the last five months of the current fiscal (Feb-June).
Speaking to bdnews24.com, he said last year's violent political scenario did not apparently have much of an effect on the economy.
"We have already started to pull out of it. Both the export income and foreign aid rose amid the turmoil and the remittance inflow was buoyant.
"The forex reserve has crossed the $19-billion mark. The import was dropping, but it is increasing now," he said.
Muhith believes the economic indices will get better despite volatile political situation.
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Research Director Zaid Bakht said the inflow of foreign aid is slow at the beginning of every fiscal year.
"The amount [of foreign aid] received last Nov-Dec period amid turmoil was healthy. There was no turbulence in February. It seems the situation would remain peaceful until June." He said donors would disburse more once the government's development projects gain pace. According to the ERD, in the July-Jan period, various donors and organisations disbursed around $1.57 billion - around $1.26 billion in loan.
The World Bank tops the list with $588.2 million followed by the Asian Development Bank at $339 million and JICA with $223.8 million in grants and loan.
Early last year, the government withdrew its $1.2 billion funding request from the Washington-based global lender for the Padma rail-road bridge project and decided to go ahead with domestic funding. Many feared the move would strain relations with the World Bank.
"The fear, however, did not turn out to be true," said Zaid Bakht.

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