ADB confirms signing of loan deal for Padma bridge

Munima Sultana
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) confirmed signing of loan deal to the tune of US $615 million for the country’s largest Padma bridge project in January next year, officials said today (Tuesday).

With this, the government received confirmation from three financiers out of four, which ensures granting of loan of $1.04 billion out of $2.7 billion for Padma multi-purpose bridge project.

Officials said the ADB confirmation came after a wrap up meeting between Economic Relations Division (ERD) and the visiting ADB team which ended today (Tuesday).

The four-member ADB team arrived here on October 24 for negotiation and held meetings with the ERD, the Bridge Division and Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA), implementing agency of the mega Padma bridge project.

The wrap-up meeting, chaired by the ERD joint secretary, was also attended by representatives from the Finance Ministry, Law and Planning ministries.

The officials said the ADB loan which would be spent for the construction of the main bridge and river training work is due to be approved in the ADB board meeting scheduled next month.

The ADB will provide $540 million from its ordinary capital resources (OCR) and $75 million from Asian Development Fund (ADF) with an eight and seven years grace period and repayment in 20 years and 24 years respectively. The OCR interest rate has been fixed at 0.3 per cent in addition to the Libor interest rate and ADF at 1.5 per cent.

So far, the BBA has received confirmation from Islamic Development Fund for $ 140 million and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for $300 million.

The IDB’s board granted the amount in its October 2 meeting while the JICA appraisal team which ended its visit on October 16 confirmed the arrival of its mission in November and signing the deal by February.

The World Bank with its commitment to provide $1.5 billion loan is lagging behind in the agreement process. The World Bank’s appraisal mission is expected to come in December.

thefinancialexpress