The Majlisi Namoayndagon (Tajikistan’s lower house of parliament) yesterday ratified an agreement approving a US$360 million grant awarded by China.   The funds have reportedly been earmarked to rehabilitate highways in Khatlon province and the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO).

Presenting the document to lawmakers, the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Nematullo Hikmatullozoda noted that the grant agreement was signed here on June 15 this year during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Dushanbe.

According to him, Chinese leader announced intention to provide 2.5 billion yuan, which equals about US$360 million, in no-strings aid to Tajikistan within the framework of the agreement on technical and economic cooperation for 2018-2020 that was signed in 2017 during Tajik President Emomali Rahmon’s visit to Beijing.  

The minister stated that the funds would be spent for rehabilitation of highways in the cities of Kulob and Bokhtar in Khatlon province, rehabilitation of sections of the Dushanbe-Kulma highway in GBAO and some other purposes. .

According to him, 227.9 million yuan (equivalent to US$35 million) would go toward rehabilitation of highways in the cities of Kulob and Bokhtar in Khatlon province the Kulob-Bokhtar project.

The minister gave no figures or details about rehabilitation of key sections of the Dushanbe-Kulma highway. 

Hikmatullozoda also did not clarify what is meant by other purposes for which part of the no-strings aid will be provided.