Bangladesh hopes for fast execution of India-aided development projects

Bangladesh is hopeful of quick implementation of the India-assisted developmental projects in the country after New Delhi announced a fresh $4.5 billion aid package, Finance Minister Abul Maal A Muhith has said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a line of concessional credit of $4.5 billion for implementation of projects in Bangladesh during premier Sheikh Hasina's visit to India this month.

"This in addition to the previously announced assistance of $1.5 billion takes to total of $6 billion," said Muhith.

The implementation of projects under the previous assistance package, he said took a longer time.

"This time it may be less because we provided the list of projects before Sheikh Hasina went there (to India). I am hoping that there should be quick implementation of these projects," Muhith said last week on the sidelines of the annual Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank here. Muhith also led a bilateral meeting with visiting Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during which they discussed bilateral aid package and projects associated with it.

Bangladesh, he said, now has $6 billion line of credit from India.

"It is quite something," he said, but quickly noted that this is far less than that of India.

"It is (Indian aid) not anything like China. (When) the (Chinese) President came (to Bangladesh), we had great difficulty in calculating in monetary terms how much it can be. Then it has turned out to be $22 billion," the Bangladeshi Finance Minister said.

However, unlike the time-oriented Indian projects, which is being implemented at a fast pace, there is no such timeline for financial aid from China, he said.

"Some of them could not be there for two, three years, because they are not even in the egg laying stage. Not to speak of hatching the... and getting the chick, you see," he said.
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