Japan to give $2.665b project loan to Bangladesh
Bangladesh signed 'Exchange of Notes' and 'Loan Agreements' with Japan on Monday involving $2.665 billion (Japanese Yen 292.279 billion) for financing two development projects as well as a budget support loan.
Fatima Yasmin, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD) signed the 'Exchange of Notes' and the 'Loan Agreements' on behalf of the government of Bangladesh while ITO Naoki, Japan's Ambassador to Bangladesh, signed the 'Exchange of Notes' and Yuho Hayakawa, Chief Representative of JICA in Dhaka signed the 'Loan Agreements'.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal was virtually connected with the event, said a press release. Speaking on the occasion, Kamal said Japan is Bangladesh's most trusted bilateral friend. "Our Father of the Nation's historic visit of Japan during 18-24 October in 1973 laid the foundation of Bangladesh-Japan relationship. That was the beginning of the partnership which strengthened over the years," he said
" We express our deep gratitude to Japan government for its' involvement in a number of on-going mega projects including Bangabandhu Road and Rail Bridge over river Jamuna, Metro Rail Networks at Dhaka city, HazratShahjalal International Airport 3rd Terminal, Matarbari Coal Fired Power Plant, Matarbari Sea Port etc," he added.
The Finance Minister further said that during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Bangladesh approached Japan for budget support and it received a very quick positive response.
He said Japan provided the first ever budget support loan of $320 million to Bangladesh last year and in line with that $365 million loan under 'COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan Phase-2 was signed Monday.
"It is also a great pleasure for us that two loan agreements of $2.3 billion under 1st Phase of 42nd Yen Loan Package for 6th tranche Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Power Project and 2nd tranche of Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (MRT, Line 1) were signed Monday." Kamal said.
The projects which are being implemented with Japan's financing now include Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Power Project (6th tranche) to meet growing electricity demand and to improve stable power supply by installing 1200 MW (600MWx2 units) Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Power Plant with other huge infrastructure development.
Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 1) (2nd tranche) is building 31.241 km long MRT Line-1 from Airport Route to Kamlapur and from Purbachal Route to Pitalganj. The 19.872 Kilometre long underground Airport Route will have 12 Stations. This portion will be the first underground rail route of the country.
COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan Phase 2 to build a resilient health system through concessional financing by supporting smooth implementation of policies to strengthen COVID-19 response capacity in health sector and to enhance economic and physical access to health services towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.
Bangladesh is going to get such budget support of $365 million) with 055pc interest rate with repayment period is 30 years including 10 years grace period.
Earlier Japan provided $320 million budget support in the year 2020 to support Bangladesh's countercyclical expenditure plan to combat COVID-19 pandemic, the finance minister said.