Bangladesh Foreign Minister A. K. Abdul Momen on Friday said the contract for building an airport terminal at Sylhet was not awarded to an Indian firm because of a high bid and therefore, went to a Chinese firm.
“From what I have heard, the Chinese are technically qualified and have the lowest rates. India’s offer was too much and as a result they could not make it,” Dr. Momen was quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune.
The Hindu and other news outlets had earlier reported that the construction of a new terminal at MAG Osmani International Airport at Sylhet had gone to BUCG (Beijing Urban Construction Group). Indian construction giant Larsen and Toubro was among the bidders for the project.
The proximity of Sylhet to India’s northeast and a possible concentration of Chinese workers in the area has given rise to security concerns.
“The question arose, why the job was given to China and not India. In this case, work is given considering the technical and financial aspects by following the tender process,” Dr. Momen said.
Addressing the media ahead of Id, the senior minister referred to several issues related to India and China, and said New Delhi had not reached out to Bangladesh seeking support on the border standoff with China.
Dr Momen said India had not communicated nor had it delivered a diplomatic note to Dhaka regarding the situation in Ladakh where Indian and Chinese forces have faced-off for the last three months.
Referring to the incident in the Galwan Valley on June 15, Dr. Momen said, “few” Indian soldiers had died. But he cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment and said as per the Indian leader, the Chinese have not occupied “an inch” of Indian territory.
“The Indian government did not send us any verbal notes that any of their people have died. As a result, naturally we did not make any statement,” the Foreign Minister said when asked about Dhaka’s studied silence on the issue. Dr. Momen had earlier told The Hindu that his country advocated dialogue and regional peace.