Vol. 5 Num 549 Mon. December 12, 2005  
Front Page

UK to provide 57.5m for rural power supply

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) will give Bangladesh a grant of 57.5 million to supply the poor with low cost electricity in rural areas and arrange hassle free transfer of remittance with less charge.

Two agreements to this effect were signed yesterday at the residence of Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman in Dhaka.

Md Ismail Zabihullah, secretary of Economic Relations Division, and David Wood, head of DFID-Bangladesh, signed the agreements.

Visiting British Minister for International Development Hilary Benn, Saifur Rahman, Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan and British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury were present.

The DFID also announced to provide 250 million in the current and next fiscal years without applying any commercial conditions.

The grant will be disbursed for implementation of Bangladesh's Rural Electrification Development Programme (REDP) and UK-Bangladesh Remittance and Payments Partnership Programme (RPP).

The total contribution of the grant includes 50 million for rural electrification and 7.5 million for remittances partnership project, says a British High Commission news release.

The objective of the RPP is to improve access and reduce costs of transferring remittance flow into Bangladesh.

Under the three-year remittance project, four million people will be benefited by saving at least $25 million, resulting in an additional income of $84 per poor household.

"Remittance is very important source for a country's economy which is now also a part of the global economy," said Hilary Benn.

He said it is very expensive for the expatriates to send money to their families. The RPP will cut the costs of sending money as well as other difficulties, he added.

Of the 161 million REDP cost, the Bangladesh government will contribute 122 million through Annual Development Programme (ADP) and DFID the rest.

Of the 50 million DFID contribution, 38 million will be disbursed for expanding power distribution system and connecting new consumers, 10 million for new power connection under microcredit programmes through Palli Karma Sohayak Foundation, and 2 million for monitoring and training programmes through the USAID, the news release added.