Bangladesh: Two projects dropped from Indian credit

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - The projects are: the expansion of cancer treatment facilities in Bangladesh and setting up the campus of Rangamati Medical College and Hospital.

The government has dropped two projects from the Indian line of credit list and instead will use its own funds to implement them due to complexities in the terms and conditions for the loan from the neighbouring country.

The projects are: the expansion of cancer treatment facilities in Bangladesh and setting up the campus of Rangamati Medical College and Hospital.

As per the conditions of the $2 billion Indian LoC deal signed in March 2016, at least 65 percent of procurement for the projects would have to be done from the neighbouring country.

A review found that the quality of the medical equipment manufactured in India is not world-class.

So to avoid purchasing sub-par equipment the government decided to drop the projects from the list, said an official of the health and family welfare ministry, adding that equipment will now be imported from the EU or the US.

The decision was taken at a review meeting on sub-regional cooperation held at the Prime Minister's Office in the first week of February.

“It was just a proposal to implement the two projects under the Indian LoC,” said Md Muhiuddin Osmani, joint chief of the health and family welfare ministry, who was present at the meeting.

But now, the government will implement them with its own funds, he added.

About Rangamati Medical College Hospital, an official said the project would also not be implemented under the Indian assistance due to complexities in land acquisition.

The authorities could not identify the site of the project in the last four years although the first batch of students was enrolled in 2014, he said. 

The college is currently running at a temporary campus on the premises of Rangamati General Hospital.

At the meeting in February, the health and family welfare ministry said it is not willing to use the Indian money for the project. The Indian fund allocated for the two projects would be diverted elsewhere, said officials of the Economic Relations Division.

The government has not discussed the dropping of the projects with the Exim Bank of India yet.

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