Work on Padma Bridge to start in Sept next

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said construction work on the multi-purpose Padma Bridge will begin in September next, if necessary using the government’s own special funds.

“Work on Padma Bridge will start during the coming winter season,” the minister said while responding to a question during his post-budget press conference held Friday.

The finance minister hinted at using the fund kept under his ministry for construction of the Padma bridge but refrained from elaborating how the giant US$ 2.95 billion project would be implemented when the World Bank and other donors have refused to finance it.

“A decision will be taken regarding the project by next month,” he said adding that Malaysia will place a PPP offer by this month.

“I will not comment anything in this regard as it is still under discussion,” Muhith said adding that both development partners and Malaysian offer through PPP are under the government consideration.

He said the government’s burden would be lessened if the project is implemented through PPP but said that if Padma bridge project is implemented using the government fund, there would also be a fund from the development partners.

Finance Secretary Dr Mohammed Tareq who was beside Muhith said Tk 30 billion fund proposed in the budget for the public-private-partnership projects may be entirely devoted to the Padma Bridge, if it is needed.

The Finance Minister in his budget has earmarked Tk 11.61 billion for the Bridge Division under which the Padma Multi-purpose Bridge Project is going to be implemented. The allocation is nearly 50 per more than the amount received during the current fiscal year.

In his budget speech he said the Padma Bridge is one of the government’s ongoing priority projects which are to be continued in the upcoming fiscal year. Construction work on the bridge will start in September.


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