03:11 GMT +322 August 2019
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    Bangladesh, China set up Panel to Improve Fund Disbursal for Chinese Projects - Report

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Bangladesh and China have set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) to review and streamline the transfer of funds for ongoing Chinese projects in Bangladesh. Bureaucratic red tape, procedural complexities and competition between Chinese firms to secure contracts are major impediments cited for delays in the disbursal of funds.

    Both Dhaka and Beijing are motivated to see the disbursal of funds for the ongoing 27 bilateral projects raised from the current five per cent ($981.36 million) to the promised $ 20 billion loans sanctioned following Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Dhaka in 2016.

    Bureaucratic red tape, procedural complexities and competition between Chinese firms to secure contracts are major impediments cited for delays in the timely disbursal of funds.

    Officials of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the Bangladesh Commerce Ministry and their Chinese counterparts will be members of the joint working group, India's national broadcaster All India Radio said in a report.

    Five major Chinese-backed projects out of the 27 sanctioned projects are still in the implementation stage. They include the Padma Bridge rail link, the Karnaphuli River tunnel, Phase III of the Info-Sarkar project, modernisation of Bangladesh's telecommunication network for improved digital connectivity and single-point mooring with a double pipeline in Maheshkhali.

    Both the countries had signed agreements between October 2016 and April 2018 for a loan to the tune of $3.9 billion for these five projects.

    Earlier this month, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh visited Beijing to formalise the agreement to form a joint working committee to identify reasons for the delays in project implementation so they can be eliminated.

    In Bangladesh and China, several committees at various levels are involved in accrediting the projects.

     

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