Home English News India announces 4.5-billion-dollar credit line for Bangladesh

India announces 4.5-billion-dollar credit line for Bangladesh

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India and Bangladesh signed 22 bilateral agreements aimed at boosting economic and political ties on Saturday, among them a 4.5 billion-dollar credit line to Dhaka for infrastructure projects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi over a wide range of subjects including defence, energy, regional security and fighting terrorism.

Following the talks, Modi also announced a 500-million-dollar credit to Bangladesh for the purchase of military hardware – the first such agreement between the countries.

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narendra modi-sheikh hasina

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) shakes hands with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during a ceremonial reception at the Indian Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, on April 8, 2017. Hasina is on a four-day state visit to India. (Credit Image: © Partha Sarkar/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire) Photo: Partha Sarkar via ZUMA Wire/ZUMA Wire/dpa

Modi said the new concessionary credit line, which would be used for implementation of projects in ‘priority’ sectors, takes India’s total resource allocation for Bangladesh in excess of 8 billion dollars over the past six years.

“India has always stood for the prosperity of Bangladesh and its people,” Modi said alongside Hasina.

“We are a long-standing and trusted development partner of Bangladesh,” Modi said, adding Hasina’s visit marked a “golden era” in bilateral relations.

Other key deals signed Saturday focused on key areas of civil nuclear cooperation, trade and launch of bus and train services.

The leaders also discussed enhancing security cooperation and tackling terrorism in detail. “We pledged zero tolerance against terrorism and violent extremism,” Hasina said.

No agreement was reached between the two countries on the sharing of the Teesta, a major cross-boundary river, during Saturday’s talks. The issue came up during negotiations on Saturday, officials said.

“I assure you and the people of Bangladesh of our commitment and continuing efforts. It’s only my government and your government that can and will find an early solution to Teesta water sharing,” Modi said.

India and Bangladesh have steadily improved upon their bilateral relations in recent years. In 2015, the neighbours swapped parcels of land to bring to an end a decades-old dispute over their 4,100-kilometre international boundary.

Foreign policy analysts say India has also been keen to counterbalance China’s growing influence in its neighbourhood, including in Bangladesh.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visit to Bangladesh last year saw the conclusion of deals worth billions of dollars even as Dhaka decided to purchase submarines from Beijing.

Modi and Hasina later Saturday joined a programme to honour Indian soldiers martyred in Bangladesh’s 1971 war of liberation from Pakistan.

The Bangladeshi leader, on her first visit to India in seven years, will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee and opposition leader Sonia Gandhi.

Hasina began her four-day India tour on Friday. She will visit the Muslim shrine of Ajmer Sharif Dargah in the northern state of Rajasthan on Sunday.

She is due to participate in a meeting with Indian business leaders in the country’s financial hub of Mumbai on Monday before concluding her visit.

-dpa