$1b for Rooppur nuke power plant

$4.5b Fresh Indian Credit

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Dhaka and New Delhi have signed a $4.5 billion credit agreement with a provision for spending nearly one fourth of the amount on Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur.

Through this deal, India becomes a party to the civil nuclear programme to be implemented by Russia.

At the signing ceremony of the third Line of Credit (LoC) at the finance ministry yesterday, visiting Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this is the biggest-ever credit New Delhi has given to any country.

Seventeen projects have already been identified for implementation under the third LoC.

Of the amount, around $1 billion would be spent on infrastructure development for power evacuation facilities of Rooppur plant. When the power plant goes into production, a transmission line will be set up to connect it to the national grid.

Russia is building the plant and also providing a credit of $12 billion for the project.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith and his Indian counterpart oversaw the deal signing in the morning.

“We are passing through an era where the Indo-Bangladesh relations are at its very best. And in the spirit and environment that exist between our governments, our people and our prime ministers, we have been able to resolve a lot of issues of the past,” said Jaitley.

“India sees Bangladesh not merely as a neighbour and a friend… we deeply appreciate the kind of progress and the pace of progress that Bangladesh has been making in the last several years.”

Before the signing ceremony, the delegations of the two countries, led by the finance ministers, held a closed-door meeting for an hour.

An official who was present there said the two sides discussed how the three LoCs could be implemented smoothly.

The Indian side made requests over several issues, including quick implementation of the bridge project over the Feni river which would be helpful in transporting goods from Chittagong port to seven sister states in India, said the official.

The Indian side also proposed revival of the railway system that existed during the British period for increasing connectivity between the two countries.

Source ||The Daily Star||

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