Bangladesh-India High Level Project Monitoring Committee's second meeting held
Own Correspondent, Dhaka, March 29: The second meeting of the High Level Project Monitoring Committee to review projects under the Bangladesh-India Government Lines of Credit (LOC) was held on Sunday (March 28) at the Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh.
The meeting was co-chaired by Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Vikram Kumar Doraiswami, and Secretary of Bangladesh's Ministry of Finance's Economic Relations Department, Fatima Yasmin.
This bilateral meeting is one of the few joint initiatives taken to expedite the implementation of the projects by tackling procedural issues and providing future advice. Both sides reviewed the status of implementation of the decisions taken at the first meeting of the High Level Project Monitoring Committee held on January 3, 2021.
It was mentioned in the meeting that the India-Bangladesh development partnership has increased significantly in recent times. Under India's Line of Credit program, Bangladesh-India is the largest development partner and the total amount pledged under LOC is 7.862 billion USD.
Both sides noted with satisfaction that significant progress has been made under the Indian LOC framework and so far the distribution milestone of USD 1 billion of the contracted nearly USD 2 billion is about to be achieved in a few days. As a result of concerted efforts by both sides, the pace of disbursement has almost doubled in one year. During this time, despite the serious challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, USD 238.68 million has been disbursed.
The two sides discussed all aspects of implementation during the meeting, including the need to standardize the interpretation of Indian LOC process and procedures by various project authorities in Bangladesh, expedite project preparation and development project proposal (DPP), rationalize bid eligibility criteria, bill processing cycle, shortening and simplification, expediting of final agreement, simplification of visa process etc.
The next steps taken by the technical committee are also identified by the high-level committee, which will meet to discuss the issues at the appropriate level in due course.