In executing projects under the Chinese credit, the government is considering purchasing products and services through open tenders.
The move came after the Economic Relations Division (ERD) in a recent inter-ministerial meeting expressed its worry that in absence of open bidding process and feasibility studies by the independent organisations transparency would not be ensured in implementation of the Chinese funded projects, sources said.
At present, the Chinese government chooses a company from China to implement the project under its credit and supply required goods and services.
“This system lacks transparency during evaluation,” said the ERD in its observation making a suggestion to carry out feasibility study by the independent organisations to ensure transparency.
Currently, as per condition, the government has to purchase products and services from China for Chinese-financed projects. In such a situation, the transparency in the project’s evaluation may come into question.
“To end this practice, the government is considering purchasing products and services through open tenders,” said an official.
He said the Chinese side was yet to clear whether the financial assistance would be in the form of soft loan or buyer’s credit. Bangladesh had earlier urged China to soften its terms and conditions for loans as the country is expecting a substantial amount of loans in next five years.
For funding the different development projects, Beijing had earlier responded positively to the Dhaka’s request for financial cooperation.
The Chinese embassy recently wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) that a list of 15 development projects submitted to Beijing, involving over $8.69bn, for inclusion in China’s 13th five-year plan (2016-2020), would be considered positively.
The projects included single-line, dual-line and dual-gauge railway tracks from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar via Ramu, and from Ramu to Gundum near the Myanmar boarder; Dhaka-Chittagong railway chord line project; Padma rail link from Dhaka to Jessore; multi-lane road tunnel under the River Karnaphuli; digital connectivity for Bangladesh; expansion and strengthening of power system network; Payra sea port project; Dhaka-Ashulia elevated expressway; and Unit-2 of eastern refinery and single point mooring project.
According to the letter, the Chinese side was negotiating positively for further cooperation at this moment. The other projects are also in the pipeline, it reads.