Japan defers US$400 mil. loan for Bangladesh bridge: official


DHAKA–Japan has put on hold a promised US$400 million loan for a river bridge in Bangladesh, as it focuses instead on reconstruction at home following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a senior Bangladeshi official said on Monday.

“Tokyo has officially conveyed this to us as the country needs to focus more on reconstructing its quake and tsunami-battered economy,” said Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, secretary of the economic relations division at the finance ministry. The loan agreement with Japan was scheduled to be signed this month, Musharraf said, but it was not now clear when this might be possible.