No plundering in Padma Bridge: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday categorically said there would be no plundering in implementing the country’s largest Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) Project.

“There’ll be no plundering in the Padma Bridge and I’m sure about it,” he told reporters at his ministry’s conference room.

The Finance Minister, however, recognised that there was some delay on the project because of complaints lodged with the lending agencies.

He said the World Bank, the leading lending agency, and the Asian Development Bank spent too much time on the complaints. “That’s also a cause for the delay.”

Mentioning problem in coordination among the lenders towards implementing the PMB project, Muhith hoped that the problem would be resolved soon.

He said the World Bank and the ADB have problems with their eligibility lists as same parties are not there.

The Finance Minister said they would discuss the matter with the country offices of the lending agencies and if not will go to Washington for solution.

Asked whether the current government would be able to start implementation process of the project during its remaining tenure, Muhith said, “Obviously, but not sure about the completion.”

He hoped the award of the contract of an approach road would take place by this month. But, on the main bridge construction, it is yet to be finalised, he added.

Muhith said they are trying to stop plundering in implementing development projects and have achieved success in stopping plundering in big projects.

The cost of the 6.15 km-long Padma Bridge is estimated at $ 2.97 billion where the World Bank would provide $ 1.2 billion, ADB $ 615 million, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) $ 415 million and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) $ 140 million, while the rest would come from the government exchequre.


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