May 24, 2022, 2:52 am
Bangla Shangbad English Desk: The 2nd Meeting of the High-Level Project Monitoring Committee to review projects under the India-Bangladesh Governmental Lines of Credit (LOC) was held on 27 March 2022 at Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh.
It was co-chaired by High Commissioner of India Vikram Doraiswami and Ms. Fatima Yasmin, Secretary, Economic Relations Division of Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh. Delegates included officials of Economic Relations Division, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Board of Revenue, Finance Division and Ministry of Home Affairs on the Bangladesh side and High Commission of India and Exim Bank of India. This bilateral mechanism is one of several joint initiatives to further expedite execution of projects, by addressing procedural issues and suggesting the way forward.
The two sides reviewed the status of implementation of the decisions taken by the 1st High Level Project Monitoring Committee Meeting held on 03 January 2021. It was noted that the India-Bangladesh development partnership has grown significantly in recent years. Bangladesh is India’s largest development partner under its Line of Credit programme with total commitment under LOCs being USD 7.862 billion. Both sides noted with great satisfaction that significant headway has been made under the GoI LOC framework and that out of approximately USD 2 billion contracted so far, the milestone of USD 1 billion in disbursements is about to be reached within days. It was also noted that with concerted effort from both sides, the pace of disbursements has nearly doubled in one year as USD 238.68 million has been disbursed in this time, despite the serious challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both sides discussed the entire spectrum of implementation issues during the meeting, including the need for standardization of the interpretation of GoI LOC processes and procedures by various Project Authorities of Bangladesh, expediting project preparation and Development Project Proposals (DPP), rationalizing bid qualification criteria, shortening and simplification of bill processing cycles, expediting award of finalized contracts, simplifying visa issuance procedures etc. The High Level Committee also identified the next steps to be taken by the Technical Committee, which would meet in due course to discuss issues at an operational level, read a press release of High Commission of India, Dhaka.