A cheque of $50 million was handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by Indian External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday as the first instalment of the $200 million grant by India.
Prime Minister’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad said the cheque was handed over by Mr Khurshid when he met the Prime Minister in her office.
“I am happy to announce that we are ready now to release the first tranche of US $50 million of the total grant of US $200 million soon for projects of priority to Bangladesh,” Mr Khurshid had told the joint press briefing after the second meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) on Saturday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith had earlier said that the grants would be used for the Padma bridge project, as and when they implement the biggest-ever infrastructure project with their own resources.
India and Bangladesh signed a $1 billion line of credit in Aug 2010 of which $200 million was in grants.
The JCC meeting reviewed the progress made on issues important for bilateral cooperation including the projects taken up under the line of credit.
The External Affairs Minister said the entire consignment of buses had been delivered to Bangladesh. “Delivery of railway rolling stock will commence in the coming days,” he said.
At first the interest was fixed at 1.75 percent which was later brought down to 1 percent in 2012.
Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran, Bangladeshi High Commissioner in Delhi Tariq A Karim, Ambassador at large M Ziauddin, Prime Minister’s Chief Secretary Sheikh Mohammad Wahiduzzaman were present in the meeting.