DHAKA Jan 17 The government of Japan said on
Saturday it had pledged to lend Bangladesh nearly $440 million
for power generation and bridge construction projects.
The commitment came from Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso
who had telephoned Bangladesh's new Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina to congratulate her after a landslide victory on Jan. 6,
Japan's government said in a statement.
Aso said the loan was meant for the construction of a power
plant, a power distribution project and a bridge improvement
Japan has been active in giving aid to the power and
transportation sectors, and its loan assistance to Bangladesh
has risen sharply over the past few years.
The interest rate is 0.01 percent per annum and the
repayment period is 40 years inclusive of 10-year grace period
for the loans.
The accumulated total of Japan's loans to Bangladesh since
1973 is about $7.4 billion for 80 projects including three
projects under the new package.
(Reporting by Serajul Islam Quadir; Editing by Ben Tan)