Sitra Bridge loan given go-ahead
Manama, March 31, 2009
Two urgent loans to help fund the continuation of work on the new Sitra Bridge were given the go-ahead by the Shura Council.
The finance, which totals BD50.2 million ($133.2 million), will cover up to 53 per cent of the project's total costs.
Parliament approved the loans at its weekly session last week after being urged to do so by the government so the Works Ministry can complete the project on time.
Shura Council financial and economic affairs committee chairman Khalid Al Maskati said the loans were necessary because of a deficit in the government's Works Ministry budget.
He said the finance would help put work on one of Bahrain's main infrastructure projects back on track.
'The loans, BD24.7 million from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and BD25.5 million from the Islamic Development Bank, will ensure that work on the bridge and nearby conjunctions like Umm Al Hassam is continued rather than have the government wait for funding to be present,' he said.
'The government will have a four-year grace period to start paying its loan for the Arab Fund, which would take them up to 18 years and six months to complete all instalments.
'While in the case of the other loan the government will have a three year grace period and will have to pay the loan within 12 years.'-TradeArabia News Service