ADB hints at raising aid for Padma bridge construction

The Director General (DG) of ADB’s South Asia Department Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman during his meeting with high-ups of the government hinted at the possibility of raising the Bank’s assistance for construction of the Padma Bridge.

He also urged the government to accelerate implementation of transport projects and other development programs, said an ADB press release.

After concluding his five-day visit to Dhaka, Dr. Hafeez Rahman also stated that ADB’s assistance programme for Bangladesh will focus on development of Bangladesh’s infrastructure, power and energy, transport, integrated urban infrastructure, regional cooperation, education and climate change in the next three years.

During his visit, the ADB DG discussed ADB’s three-year assistance programme with senior government officials and other stakeholders, including Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Adviser to the Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Mashiur Rahman, Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain, and other senior officials.

The Manila-based multilateral lending agency has almost doubled its assistance to $1.10 billion annually during 2011-2013 to help Bangladesh address the serious power, gas and water crisis, said the press statement.

“The infrastructure deficit is too large for the Government alone to meet,” said Dr. Rahman, adding that an enabling environment should be created for domestic and foreign investments to take place in this crucial sector.

He added: “Public-private Partnerships are an important vehicle in achieving this objective.”

Dr Hafeez Rahman also emphasised the need to improve both access to and quality of education as a means to sustain poverty reduction, and for Bangladesh to be a part of global knowledge economy.

He also said Bangladesh needs increased investment to improve the quality of human resource as well as to make growth more inclusive.

ADB provided around $600 million in assistance to Bangladesh annually during 2006-2008, and is currently supporting a wide range of development programs with 59 projects of the Government worth about $4.5 billion.


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