Though Bangladesh tops Asian Development Bank's (ADB) list of borrowers, the development partner has raised questions over the pace of project implementation in the south Asian country, Planning Minister MA Mannan said yesterday.
Mannan told this to reporters after a meeting with ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash at the ministry in Agargaon, Dhaka.
The minister said Bangladesh tops the list among the ADB's 48 member countries and India was behind Dhaka when it came to taking loans from the multilateral lender.
The ADB encompasses 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
Mannan said Bangladesh last year took $5.1 billion from the ADB while India took $4.6 billion. The minister said the ADB has adequate funds to provide loans and Bangladesh could get more credit but project implementation had to be expedited.
He cited the ADB country director as saying that many good projects were coming up but the lender had raised questions over the pace of project implementation.
The minister said their main task would be to expedite project implementation, something the prime minister also desired. He said the ADB has expressed interest to increase investment in the railway sector.
Now it takes eight hours to go to Chattogram from Dhaka and it can be brought down to six hours using the existing rail line, he said.
Dr Adarsh Swaika, acting Indian high commissioner, followed suit in meeting the planning minister after the ADB country director.
The minister said India has also stressed the need for increasing the pace of project implementation under the Indian line of credit.