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Three projects taken off Chinese funding list

The government is going to implement three projects with funding from others, instead of Chinese assistance as was initially planned.

This was disclosed in a recent meeting where 11 slow-going projects came under review.

Bangladesh and China earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on ‘Strengthening Investment and Production Capacity Cooperation’ for implementing these projects during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Dhaka in October, 2016.

The minutes of the recent meeting obtained by the FE show that the three projects were undertaken by the Power Division, the Energy and Mineral Resources Division and the Bangladesh Railway.

The project titled ‘Extension of the existing underground mining operation of Barapukuria Coalmine’ was included in the list of schemes for Chinese funding to increase the production capacity of the Barapukuria Coalmine.

But recently the ministry concerned said they were not interested in the Chinese loan for the project as they want to implement it on their own.

The meeting was told that the feasibility study on the project was yet to be completed.

On the other hand, a representative of the Power Division urged the meeting to drop the ‘Pre-payment Metering Project for the BPDB’s distribution Zone’ from the list, as a separate plan was drawn up by the Power Division to install 2.0 million pre-paid meters with funding from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

‘Installation of the pre-paid meters has already started and there will be no pre-paid meters required for now after implementation of the IsDB-funded project. So there is no need for implementation of the project,” the representative from the Power Division told the meeting with a request for dropping it from the Chinese funding list.

When it came to the project for construction of the ‘New Inland Container Depot (ICD) near Dhirasram Railway Station’, the Bangladesh Railway officials told the meeting that the Chinese fund for the project is not required as it is being implemented with Japanese fund under a government-to-government arrangement.

They said that already the draft project proposal (DPP) for land acquisition was completed and the feasibility study started with assistance from the Asian Development Bank.

The meeting also discussed the progress in another eight projects. Of them, the marine drive expressway project could not be reviewed as none representing that particular project was present in the meeting.

The Power Division officials told the meeting that the Gazaria Coal-fired Thermal Power Plant project would have to be revised as they were planning to use gas instead of coal in producing power at the plant.

ICT Division officials in the meeting said work on the project titled ‘Modernisation of the Rural and Urban Lives in Bangladesh through ICT’ got going and they would inform the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of progress in implementation of the project from time to time.

The meeting was also told that the project for construction of the 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge needed a further revision of its DPP.

The representative from the Bridge Division said this in the meeting.

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