Infrastructure News

Bangladesh to launch 3 major infrastructures with Indian aid in Sep, ET Infra


DHAKA: Bangladesh is set to launch three major infrastructure projects, including a power plant, under India’s financial assistance in September, a senior official said on Tuesday after the Indian High Commissioner here called on the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pranay Verma called on Prime Minister Hasina at her Ganobhaban official residence and discussed issues such as the Taka-Rupee exchange system between Bangladesh and India, connectivity, and ongoing projects under the Indian Line of Credits and grants.

During the meeting, both the Bangladesh prime minister and the Indian envoy expressed satisfaction over the state of the bilateral relations, Bangladesh premier’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim said.

“Sheikh Hasina wished India will raise voice, particularly for the Global South alongside the entire world, during the upcoming G20 Summit in New Delhi,” Karim said.

A spokesman at Bangladesh premier’s office said Verma informed Hasina that two types of credit cards, one Rupee and the other Taka card, will be issued “so the people of the two countries can use the cards for their payments”.

He told Hasina that a large number of Bangladeshis visit India for various purposes and they can use the card.

The official said Bangladesh is set to launch three major infrastructure projects, including a power plant, under India’s financial assistance in September.

The spokesman said the work on the 660-megawatt superthermal power plant and two railway lines would coincide with Prime Minister Hasina’s planned visit to India in September for the G20 Summit.

The power plant would be the second unit of the Rampal power plant in southwestern Bangladesh while the two other infrastructure projects are 65-kilometre-long Khulna-Mongla Port Railway Link, Akhaura (Bangladesh) and Agartala (India) Railway Link.

Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant-2 has been built as a 50:50 joint venture project, while the first unit of the project, also having a 660 MW capacity, was commissioned in December last year, the official said.

The official said the power plant and the Khulna-Mongla Port railway track were constructed under an Indian Line of Credit while the Akhaura (Bangladesh) and Agartala (India) Railway Link was built under an Indian grant.

Bangladesh and India last week launched a trade transaction in local currency in their bid to reduce dependence on the US dollar and strengthen regional currency and trade.

It was the first time Bangladesh started bilateral trade with a foreign country in any other currency other than the US dollar, although the two countries stage frontier trading in certain areas called “border hut” in a semi-formal manner where both currencies are exchanged on a limited scale.

Under the formal arrangement from now on, initially, the trade would be transacted in rupee and then gradually in Bangladeshi currency Taka.

According to the latest official data from Dhaka, exports from Bangladesh to India amount to USD 2 billion, while Bangladesh’s imports from India are worth USD 13.69 billion.

  • Published On Jul 19, 2023 at 12:49 PM IST

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