Bangladesh to receive $600 mln World Bank loan for rural power

DHAKA, March 1 Sat Mar 1, 2014 6:22am EST

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DHAKA, March 1 (Reuters) - Bangladesh will receive a $600-million loan from the World Bank in order to improve electricity supplies to rural areas, in order to reduce poverty and create jobs, the mulitlateral lender said in a statement on Saturday.

The loan was approved by the World Bank's board a day earlier. The credits from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's concessionary arm, have 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period and carry a service charge of 0.75 percent.

Mohammad Saiful Islam, a director of the Bangladesh Power Development Board, told Reuters; "The project will contribute to improving the quality and reliability of power supplies to 25 million people in rural Bangladesh."

Around 80 percent of Bangladesh's 160 million people live in rural areas. The World Bank estimated that nearly 75 million of them lacked access to electricity.

(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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