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PM`s giftpack for Myanmar

NEW DELHI, May 22 (Indian Express): Not to lose out to China, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is taking to Myanmar a set of proposals to accelerate “development and connectivity” that includes relaxing terms in the $500-million line of credit; launching an Imphal-Mandalay bus service and opening of branches of Indian banks.

During his visit later this week — the first PM trip since Rajiv Gandhi visited in 1987 — Singh is expected to ease the line of credit terms by extending the repayment period, lowering management and commitment fees and reducing the requirement of the Indian component to 40 per cent in proposed hydropower projects.

The connectivity package consists of introduction of the Imphal-Mandalay bus service through the border town of Moreh; an increase in flights from the current twice weekly and assistance in development of Myanmar railways “in areas bordering India” by 2016.

Other proposals include: a third border tradepost at Avakhung-Pansat/Somrai; commitment by India to build the Tamanthi and Shwezaye hydropower projects; upgrade of the Rhi-Tiddim, Tamu-Kalewa-Kalmvo roads and 76 bridges; and opening of representative branches by Union Bank of India and Bank of India for promoting trade in local currency with an offer to help train banking officials.



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