Muhith still hopeful
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has expressed hope that the government may reach a settlement with the World Bank on funding the Padma bridge project.
“It is possible to reach a solution with the World Bank soon,” Muhith told BBC Bangla Service on Wednesday.
Mentioning the steps taken to fulfil the World Bank’s conditions, the government has sent a letter to the global lender requesting to reconsider its loan cancellation decision.
Muhith said the negotiation with the World Bank (WB) reached a certain stage that made him hopeful of breaking the deadlock.
About the Malaysian delegation, which is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka in early August with a funding proposal for the project, the finance minister said the government was scrutinising all the ways of funding.
And as part of it, the government will also review Malaysia’s proposal, he said.
The WB on June 29 cancelled its $1.2 billion project funding that it had kept suspended since last September on allegations that ex-communication minister Abul Hossain and some public officials were involved in corruption in selecting the Canadian company SNC-Lavalin for the bridge’s supervisory work.
Abul Hossain was later transferred to the ICT ministry on December 5 in the face of the allegation of corruption by the WB. Finally, he quit on July 23 after a prolonged controversy.
Abul’s resignation came a day after the finance minister said the government had been considering accepting the WB’s fourth condition to persuade the global lender to review the cancellation of the Padma bridge loan.
The WB’s fourth condition was that the government send on leave the public officials and Abul Hossain, who were presumably involved in corruption in the project.
-With The Daily Star input