Dhaka: Bangladesh's highest economic policy-making body on Tuesday approved a multi billion-dollar China-financed project to develop a direct railway connectivity between the capital Dhaka and the southwestern parts of the country. The "Padma Bridge rail link" project with a cost of 349.88 billion taka ($4.47 billion) was approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday, Xinhua reported. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters after the meeting that Rail Division is entrusted to implement the project by 2022. He said a total of 172 km new rail track would be installed under the project. Chinese government will provide 247.49 billion taka as a loan for the project and the remaining expenditure would be borne by the government, he added. Bangladesh's cabinet committee on economic affairs in March approved a proposal from the country's railway ministry to give the project to China Railway Group Ltd.