Published:  01:40 AM, 07 December 2017

Credit utilization must be speeded up

That Bangladesh has been getting an increasingly high amount of commitments for assistance in its development projects from its development partners is truly an encouraging sign for the country's economy. To put it in another way, this rising trend of willingness being shown by the foreign partners to give credits to Bangladesh does also testify to the fact that Bangladesh has successfully been able to make them have belief in its economic capacity.

Just in the last week Bangladesh steeped in the era of being a nuclear power country with the inauguration of work of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project, the bulk of the cost of which will be met with credit assistance from Russia. Besides, after receiving commitments of credit worth  3.5 billion US dollars from India in two phases since 2010, Bangladesh very recently has signed the third and biggest LoC with India.

 17 important development projects have primarily been identified for implementation under the fresh credit agreement worth USD 4.5 billion, which is the biggest-ever credit New Delhi has given to any country. Flow of credit disbursement from the country's other traditional donors has also been on a rising tide.

However, we cannot but become shocked when we see that the progress of implementing various projects under the credits we receive from our development partners has barely been anything more than a sorry state of affairs. It is really disturbing to note that Bangladesh could use only USD 576 million of the first LoC till August this year from 2010 while the implementation of the second LoC was yet to be started.

 This sluggishness in implementing projects that are intended for major infrastructural development and economic growth under the first two LoCs with India very naturally make people doubtful about the proper utilization of the latest LoC.

But, since we are anticipating reaching the next level of development very soon and that the foreign assistances promise huge benefits in terms of infrastructural development and economic activity, we feel there is little time we can afford to lose. Therefore, we urge the government not to allow any bottleneck go unaddressed for the sake of attaining the optimum benefits from the credits we are taking from India or any other of our development partners.

Let us hope that both the government and donors will take up the issue of sloth implementation of joint venture projects and will take appropriate measures that will prove adequate in speeding up the utilization of foreign credit use in Bangladeshi development projects.

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