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WB halts Padma project funding

integra

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WB halts Padma project funding

Dhaka, Oct 10 (bdnews24.com)—The World Bank has temporarily suspended its funding for the Padma bridge project following charges of corruption.

Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith informed journalists of the move on Monday, saying, "The government will investigate the allegations."

The World Bank has promised $1.2-billion financing for the country's longest bridge over the Padma River.

"The bank has levelled allegations of corruption during river dredging, appointment of consultants and preliminary selections. They have temporarily suspended the funding," Muhith said.

"The government will launch an enquiry into the whole thing. The Anticorruption Commission has already started looking into the matter."

"The government will issue a statement over the issue soon. I wanted to issue it today (Monday)…but can't," he added.

The minister also said the World Bank will continue with its assistance to other projects in Bangladesh.

"IMF (International Monetary Fund) will give us $1 billion extended credit facility."

Asked whether Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus, who had been removed from Grameen Bank he founded following 'a dispute with the Sheikh Hasina government', influenced the World Bank to postpone the fund, Muhith said, "No, no such incident occurred."

A US-based Bengali news agency recently said that Yunus was lobbying for the postponement of the fund.

Construction of the $2.9-billion bridge over the river to connect the northwest of the country to the capital Dhaka and Chittagong port was expected to begin before the end of this year.

This is first time Bangladesh's prime development financier has suspended promised funds, a move officials say could raise alarm among other lenders.

Bangladesh topped the list of the world's most corrupt countries for five years until 2005, but the rating has slightly improved over the past few years.

bdnews24.com/arh/rn/ost/nir/bd/1923h



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idune

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WB suspends $1.2b pledged funding for Padma Bridge

FE Report

The World Bank (WB) has suspended its pledged funding worth US$ 1.2 billion for Padma Bridge amid allegation of corruption in the bidding process of the country's longest multipurpose bridge, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Monday.

The government will also investigate the corruption allegations, he added.

"The WB has temporarily suspended funding for Padma Bridge," Muhith told reporters at his secretariat office.

He said the WB has officially lodged complaints with both the governments of Bangladesh and Canada about irregularities in the bidding process of the Padma Bridge.

"We are yet to finalise the modality and terms of reference (TOR) for the proposed investigation," Muhith told the reporters, adding that a statement in this connection will soon be issued from the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

"I will soon convene a press briefing on this particular issue," the finance minister said.

Muhith refused to make any comment when asked about the involvement of a business house owned by an influential minister of the incumbent government in the alleged irregularities and corruption.

Meanwhile, Ellen Goldstein, Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh responding to an e-mail query from this correspondent said Monday that WB will not proceed on disbursing pledged fund for Padma Bridge until the Bank is fully satisfied on the fraud and corruption front.

'The World Bank is committed to good governance and anti-corruption issues. As we have said from the outset, we will not proceed until we are fully satisfied on the fraud and corruption front,' reads the e-mail of Ellen Goldstein.


'This is in the interests of the people of Bangladesh. We can confirm that our Vice President for South Asia has recently visited Bangladesh where she met with the Prime Minister and raised concerns about investigations relating to the Padma Bridge project. Their dialogue is ongoing,' the mail of WB says further.

The Finance Minister Sunday said that the WB wants the government to probe alleged irregularities in the appointment of a consultant for the Padma Bridge project.

A senior official in the MoF said the WB in a letter to Muhith has recently requested him to take necessary actions relating to corruption allegations in the project's tendering process to get the pledged fund from the Bank.

The estimated cost of the Padma Bridge project is US$ 2.9 billion. The WB Board approved $ 1.2 billion and committed to providing an extra $ 300 million later. Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Japan are the other financiers of the Padma Bridge project.

Earlier this year, the government sent a list of five pre-qualified bidders for the consultancy job to the WB for its approval. Of the five, the lowest bidder was a Canadian company, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. The Canadian authorities are investigating corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc following a WB request.

WB suspends $1.2b pledged funding for Padma Bridge
 

Md Akmal

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@ I heard that Bnagladesh has already signed a MOU with India where there is one clause that in future may be in 2012 once the election for another two Super would be held Bangladesh has already committed that she would go infavour of India. Japan has already come to know this. The other candidate for this post is Japan. I am having lot of doubt whether Japan would continue with their portion for the construction of Padma Bridge.

@ How come Bangladesh has signed in such MOU in advance !!!!!!!!! Shame ! Shame !!! For Sk Hasina. Actually she does not have any shame !!!!!
 

Roybot

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Hasina blames BNP for Padma mess | | bdnews24.com

Lalmonirhat, Oct 19 (bdnews24.com) — The World Bank suspended funding for the Padma bridge project due to 'corruption during the BNP's tenure', prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said.

"Two documents on the instances of corruption by the BNP government's communications minister have reached the World Bank. They halted the funding after receiving the documents," she told a public meeting at Patgram on Wednesday.

Several cases over charges of corruption had been filed against Nazmul Huda—the communications minister of the last BNP-led four-party alliance government—during the caretaker government's tenure.
 

kobiraaz

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হি হু বিলিভস হাসিনা ইজ :cheesy:
 

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