No alternative fund needed for Padma Bridge: Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Wednesday in the parliament no alternative funding will be needed for construction of the Padma Bridge, expressing her hope that the project work will begin soon through resolving the “temporary complications”.

On grounds of allegations of irregularities against the communications minister, the World Bank has recently suspended funding the project. The act triggered a huge outcry in the country.

Terming the present complication as temporary, the prime minister said Wednesday that her government has taken measures to resolve the complications.

“The finance minister has sent a letter to the president of the World Bank clarifying the government’s position. Copies of the letter were sent to other development partners,” she said in a scripted answer to a query of AL lawmaker SK Abu Baker.

The premier said the World Bank would finance $1.2 billion to the Padma Bridge project and if necessary it will also give $300 million more.

She said the WB is chief coordinator of other funding agencies to the Padma bridge project. “Every matter including floating tender, pre-qualification, selection of contractors has to be sent to the World Bank for its approval,” Hasina said, adding, “The World Bank has its own official procedure to take decision.”

The premier said the WB has rules to investigate any sort of allegation even if it is false or comes from unnamed source.

Earlier on October 23 the finance minister Muhith told reporters that the snags in the Padma bridge project will be solved soon. “We have given a proposal to the Bank, and are waiting for their response.”

Asked what the government will do if the WB turns down the proposal, the minister said, “We have other ways. We won’t tell you everything.”

Meanwhile on October 20 the Malaysian government proposed financing for construction of the much-awaited Padma Bridge.

Visiting Special Envoy of Malaysian government Dato Seri S Samy Vellu gave the proposal in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Gonobhaban.


The premier also informed the House briefly about the latest situation of much talked about Transit. In response to a query of Jatiya Party MP Mujib-ul Haque, she said the core committee formed under tariff commission for finalizing transit fees and route has submitted its report which is now under final review.


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