Chinese projects in Bangladesh in limbo over non-fulfilment of financial commitment

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 14 Sep 2019

Dhaka: Giving a hint that they are not fulfilling a financial commitment made to Bangladesh in 2016, China has so far only disbursed USD 981. 36 million, which accounts for five percent of USD 20 billion promised for development projects.

The amount was committed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the country in 2016.


The Bangladesh authorities have said that as per the recent trend the deadline to disburse the committed Chinese assistance by 2020 would not be met.


"To address the issue of slow progress in 27 projects to be funded  by China by 2020, a Joint Working Group (JWG) was recently formed with representatives from the Chinese Commerce Ministry and BD Finance Ministry," a source said.


"The JWG would review identified projects to decide whether those projects for which loan agreements were yet to be signed still required Chinese funding as well as explore channelising  and coordinating private investment for these projects," the source added.


Interestingly, out of the 27 projects, China had agreed to finance, loan agreements have been signed only for six and only five projects were now at an implementation state.


With regard to Bangladesh's requests to fund the improvement of Barishali- Patuakhali-Kuakati road to a 4-lane highway project, Chinese Embassy in Dhaka informed that the South Asian country should not unilaterally apply for funding of huge projects as the Chinese government would only focus on projects already agreed to in 2016, sources said.


The bitterness of Pyra incident:

Not everything is hunky dory about the Chinese investment and projects in Bangladesh. The bitter memories of the Pyra power plant incident in June are still fresh.

Two, including a Chinese national, were killed in a clash at the under-construction power plant in Kolapara upazila of Patuakhali. The death of a Bangladeshi worker sparked a violence as his colleagues charged at the Chinese workers who also retaliated. A Chinese national was killed.


Nearly weeks after the Chinese national was killed in the clash at the under construction Payra power plant in June, the authorities of the plant led by the Chinese had directed Bangladeshi workers to leave the construction site.


They were directed not to return until further notice.

The incident is reflective of how people in this South Asian Islamic nation are annoyed with China over covering up deadly industrial accidents involving local Muslims.

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