Japan declines funding Padma bridge alone

Japan has turned down foreign minister Dipu Moni’s plea to finance Padma bridge giving excuse that it could not finance such a big project alone.

She had asked for the assistance during her formal talks with Katsuya Okada, the Japanese deputy prime minister, at a city hotel on Thursday, according to a media statement of the foreign ministry.

“Regarding the Padma Bridge, the Japanese side said that Japan is expecting a breakthrough in consultation with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank as Japan alone cannot finance such a big project,” the statement said.

The lead financier, World Bank, has suspended financing for the country’s biggest-ever infrastructure project worth $2.9 billion over a corruption allegation.

The Asian Development Bank, JICA and the Islamic Development Bank are the other financers.

In its effort to find an alternative source of funding, Bangladesh has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia to build the project.

The foreign minister asserted that the allegation of corruption was yet to be proved and said that the World Bank had not provided any evidence to the government despite requests.

The Japanese side, however, agreed to consider the Metro Rail project actively under the 33rd loan package. The total amount of the package is $700 million.

Okada arrived in Dhaka on Thursday on a two-day visit.


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