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Sunday, 15 July 2012

$1b credit can be used for Padma bridge: Indian official

$1b credit can be used for Padma bridge: Indian official

Indian officials on Friday said New Delhi does not have any objection to the diversion of its $1 billion credit line for constructing the Padma bridge as the World Bank scraped loan exposing the project to a difficult state.
"We earlier said the credit could be used for any purpose suitable to your need. Bangladesh can use the fund for the Padma bridge project," a senior foreign ministry official told BSS as he was approached for comments about the possible diversion.

But, the official, preferring anonymity, said Padma bridge was a big project requiring more amounts "but you can start with the Indian credit".

The economic relations division officials in Dhaka, however, called the Indian foreign office comment a "difficult proposition" as much of the credit amount was already channelled for different infrastructure projects, mostly in railway sector.

"Moreover, there are some technical aspects which need to be resolved for the diversion," ERD Joint Secretary Asifuzzaman, who deals with the foreign credit affairs of the division, told BSS.

He, however, said Bangladesh so far did not approach India for the fund diversion or received any proposal from New Delhi in this regard.

Indian officials said under the $1 billion credit line, the two countries until now finalised nine projects while ERD officials in Dhaka said process was underway to finalise more projects which would require half of the credit amount.

Dhaka and New Delhi signed the $1 billion loan agreement to finance infrastructure development in Bangladesh two years ago while the amount was the biggest credit package by India to any nation.