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Bank & Finance - Corporate - March 25, 2023

Foreign loan flow increasing in BD

Mahfuz Emran: The flow of foreign loans has increased for development work under different projects. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved 17 development projects in just two meetings. Where 12 projects depend on foreign loans. Foreign loans of Tk 12,350 crore have been taken under these projects. Top lenders are World Bank, Islamic Development Bank (IDB), JICA, UNDP, European Union and Asian Development Bank (ADB),
sources from the Ministry of Planning gave this information. Regarding debt, the Abdul Mannan planning minister said, there is pressure on foreign debt in the pipeline. For this reason, I am increasing the approval of debt dependent projects.
Recently, nine development projects of various ministries and departments of the government were presented at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC). Out of these, four are new and the remaining five are revised projects.
Tk 1,731 crore have been sanctioned in 9 projects. The total cost is Tk 4,601 crore. Among these six projects, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) JICA, ENDP, European Union and World Bank are giving Tk 3,438 crore as loan grants.
According to the Ministry of Planning, there is currently $50.36 billion in the pipeline. At Tk 105 per dollar, the amount in Bangladeshi currency is about 5 lakh 300 crore. Debt-dependent project approvals are increasing as foreign debt from the pipeline is waived.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said that there is foreign debt pressure in the pipeline. For this reason, I am increasing the approval of debt dependent projects. Also, we need dollars now. It is good that foreign money will enter our account.
Approving debt-based projects will also reduce pressure on pipelines, adding dollars to our accounts.
Economists are looking at the approval of projects dependent on foreign loans as positive. Because currently the debt repayment capacity is also good. Former adviser to the caretaker government and eminent economist. AB Mirza Azizul Islam said that the government is currently undertaking various infrastructure development projects. As a result, the approval of projects dependent on foreign debt is increasing. But we have no problem with that. Because Bangladesh is doing well in debt repayment.
He also said that ADB-China is providing loans for infrastructure development. No problem as long as I don’t fail the re-payment. Moreover, we are in a good position, there is no problem even if there is a shortage of remittances.
Among the foreign loan projects recently approved by ECNEC is the project titled ‘Capacity Enhancement of Dhaka Metropolitan Police to Counter Terrorism and Ensure Public Safety’. The total cost of the project is Tk 229.82 crore. Japan is giving Tk 39.58 million as a grant.
The third amendment proposal of the Energy and Mineral Resources Department titled ‘Installation of Pre-Paid Gas Meter’ was approved. The total cost of the project is Tk 928 crore. Of this, JICA’s debt is Tk 807 crore.
The main sanctioned expenditure for the project titled ‘Establishment of Dhaka Technical Teacher Training Institute’ is Tk 86 crore. An expenditure of Tk 98 crore was sanctioned for the first and second amendment of the project. Now in the third amendment proposal it has been proposed to reduce two crore rupees to Tk 96 crore.
Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is giving Tk 64.4 million in the project. Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries project is given by the World Bank as a loan of Tk 2,186 crore.
A project titled ‘Project for the Improvement of Equipment for Technical Education’ was approved by the Directorate of Technical Education, Department of Technical and Madrasa Education. The total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 98 crore. Out of this, Tk 74 crore will be given by JICA.
The remaining Tk 24 crores will be spent from the government’s own funds.
In addition, on March 12, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved eight projects with an expenditure of approximately Tk 12,167.15 crores. Out of this, government funding is Tk 3,979.1 crore and the organization’s own funding is Tk 156.47 crore. The remaining Tk 8,912.77 crore will come from foreign loans.
One of these is the ‘Sustainable Infrastructure for Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (RIVER)’ project. In this project, the loan of the World Bank is Tk 4,275 crore.South-Western Transmission-Grid Expansion (First Revised) project will attract a foreign loan of Tk 2,824 crore. Canada will give Tk 128 crore for promoting gender responsive enterprise development system. A foreign loan of Tk 1,475 crore will come for the ‘Customs Modernization and Infrastructure Development’ project.
JICA will contribute Tk 30 crore to the ‘Urban Resilience Project (URP): Project Coordination and Monitoring Unit (PCMU)’ project. JICA will give Tk 2,497 crore to the ‘South Chittagong Regional Development (SCRD)’ project.

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