The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has come up with nearly US$6.0 billion aid package for Bangladesh in three years until fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, attaching the highest priority to regional connectivity and energy sector, officials said on Thursday.
Officials said the Manila-based lender has proposed $2.79 billion funds as "firm" financial package, while another $3.35 billion as "standby" money in its three-year business operation plan.
"Standby" funds refer to the money that the development partner will provide as assistance for the upcoming projects or the ongoing ones, if the country can utilise the "firm" funds properly.
The government officials said the multilateral lender has recently finalised the Country Operation Business Plan (COBP) for Bangladesh, ranging from FY 2016 to FY 2018, allocating the $6.0 billion funds.
Under ADB's country partnership strategy (CSP) for Bangladesh for the next five years, up to FY 2020, COBP has been framed, an ADB official said.
According to the three-year aid programme, ADB has proposed to provide $660 million assistance in the current fiscal (FY 2016), $1.04 billion in FY 2017, and $1.09 billion in FY 2018.
The global lender, in its COBP for Bangladesh, has also kept aside $780 million for FY 2016, $1.27 billion for FY 2017, and $1.3 billion for FY 2018 as "stand-by" funds.
A senior Economic Relations Division (ERD) official said: "ADB has mainly included the government's priority in the seventh five-year plan (SFYP). The development partner will help Bangladesh to achieve target in the five-year plan."
Of the proposed "firm" funds for different projects, ADB will provide $300 million for power generation, $194 million for rural infrastructure maintenance programme, $350 million for SASEC road connectivity project-II, and $200 million for Chittagong-Cox's Bazar railway project, officials said.
Besides, ADB has offered $150 million for natural gas development and distribution, another $200 million for Chittagong-Cox's Bazar railway line construction, $180 million for public-private infrastructure development programme, $300 million for power system expansion and efficiency improvement programme, and $200 million for Dhaka metro-rail project, they added.
ADB is the second largest multi-lateral development partner of Bangladesh. It has been annually providing assistance worth about $600 million to Bangladesh on an average in the recent years.
In last FY (2014-15), ADB's aid disbursement to Bangladesh has boosted to $711 million.
From the beginning of its assistance in 1973 to 2012, ADB has provided 234 loans totalling $14.1 billion, and 389 technical assistance projects totalling $221.7 million.