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Govt seeks US$1.83b under 39th Japanese ODA package

FHM Humayan Kabir | November 12, 2017 00:00:00

The government has sought around US$1.83 billion worth of assistance from Japan for bankrolling six development projects, officials said Saturday.

Officials at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said they have already discussed the issue with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

"We are hopeful of receiving funds under its upcoming 39th Official Development Assistance (ODA) package to finance six development projects," a senior MoF official told the FE.

He said a JICA mission in September-October last completed its visit to Bangladesh to explore the possibilities of financing the proposed projects.

"We are hopeful of signing the 39th ODA package with JICA within a couple of months," he said.

After signing the loan deal, the largest bilateral donor will start disbursement of funds from the proposed $1.83 billion aid package for the six development projects, the MoF official added.

The proposed six projects under the 39th ODA package are: Matarbari port development, Dhaka MRT line-6 construction

(phase-III), Dhaka MRT line -5 feasibility study, Matarbari ultra super critical coal-fired power plant (phase-IV), Jamuna Railway Bridge construction and Health service strengthening project.

A senior official of Economic Relations Division said the proposed 39th ODA package will be very useful for Bangladesh as it will be utilised to develop the Matarbari port, ongoing Matarbari power plant project, conduct feasibility study and detailed design of the MRT line-5 in Dhaka and to construct railway bridge over the River Jamuna.

"All of these projects are very important for the country to ensure smooth transportation and uninterrupted power supply," he added.

Japan is the largest bilateral development partner of Bangladesh. Over last 5-6 years, it has enhanced its aid with confirmation of more than US$1.0 billion worth of funds under each of the aid packages.

In the last 38th ODA package, signed in June 2017, JICA provided Yen 178.223 billion ($1.64 billion) for utilising in six development projects on transport infrastructure, power and water sector improvement works.

In June 2016, Japan signed the 37th ODA deal worth $1.50 billion (173.54 billion Japanese Yen) with Bangladesh and in December 2015, it inked the 36th ODA package confirming $1.2 billion concessional loan for six development projects.

Under the last 38th ODA package, JICA offered $700 million (Yen 76.825 billion) for Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion project, $480 million (Yen 52.73 billion) for 2nd Kanchpur, Meghna and Gumti bridges construction, $50 million (Yen 5.593 billion) for Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit development project (Line 1), $100 million (Yen 10.745 billion) for Matarbari ultra super critical coal-fired power plant, $190 million (Yen 20.477 billion) for Dhaka underground substation construction project and $110 million (Yen 11.853 billion) loan for small scale water resources development project.

Japan has so far provided Bangladesh with nearly US$12 billion in assistance since the financial year (FY) 1971-72.

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