Thursday 18, August 2022

Bangladesh urges JICA for $1b budget support

News Desk: Bangladesh has requested budgetary support of $1 billion from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to reduce the pressure on international transactions to a manageable level, according to a source in the Finance Ministry.

Additionally, it has been suggested that JICA prioritise funding when putting important projects into action in Bangladesh. The foreign development partner was also asked to finance the metro rail project (MRT-1).

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the requests when a delegation led by JICA President Akihiko Tanaka paid a courtesy visit to him at the Secretariat on Monday.

Japan is involved in three mega projects, namely the Matarbari deep-sea port and power plant in Maheshkhali, the metro rail in Dhaka city, and the construction of the third terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

At the meeting, the finance minister called for the strengthening of the financial backing for the swift execution of these projects.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at a parliamentary budget discussion on June 8, said the budget support of $ 1 billion will be spent on providing incentives to industries, commercial establishments, small and medium industrial entrepreneurs, and social protection.

She said that the government is working tirelessly to put the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into effect, with a variety of plans aimed at socio-economic development and job creation.

The finance minister informed the budget support that Japan had extended at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic was the first budget support to Bangladesh extended by Japan which ultimately helped the country to lessen the impacts of the pandemic alongside facing the Russia-Ukraine crisis, said a ministry press release.

Noting that Japan has become the single largest bilateral development partner of Bangladesh day by day, Kamal said, “It’s my belief that JICA will increase funding for important projects in our country alongside extending necessary budget support considering the future global uncertainties.”

In response, Tanaka lauded the economic progress of Bangladesh, saying that it is an important country to which JICA has extended support.

“Bangladesh is now far ahead of neighbouring countries in different social and economic indicators. Due to successful implementation of the support, the position of Bangladesh is now very good in terms of development support extended by Japan,” he added.

The JICA President said Bangladesh has reached a new level of development through attainments in various social indicators, adding that he was amazed to see the level of development and progress of Bangladesh this time with his own eyes.

On the occasion, Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Sharifa Khan, Japanese Ambassador to Dhaka Ito Naoki, and Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office Yuho Hayakawa were present, among others.


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