JICA chief will talk to WB boss for reversal of decision

Padma Bridge construction
Finance Minister AMA Muhith Thursday said president of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Akihiko Tanaka will talk with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to reverse the bank’s decision to cancel the Padma Bridge funding, reports UNB.

He added that the JICA president is flying to Washington today to discuss the matter.

The disclosure came from Muhith while he was talking to reporters after two consecutive meetings of the Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee and Cabinet Purchase Committee at the Cabinet Division.

He said Bangladesh still wants reversal of the World Bank decision.

“We have communicated with the JICA president who had sought some information from our side. We wrote to the JICA president communicating our position on the project financing and other matters. Today I have discussed with him in detail. Now, he will discuss the matter with the World Bank president,” said the finance minister.

“We may have to wait for some time to learn about their decision,” he added.

He, however, said the government is thinking of three options for the Padma Bridge project financing. These are reconsideration by World Bank, persuading the three other donor agencies to provide additional funding plus increasing the country’s own contribution and thirdly financing the project solely through domestic sources.

The finance minister said the construction work of the Padma bridge will start in the next working season and initially it may require US$ 250-350 million for the start of the work. But for the total work, the foreign currency requirement will be US$ 1.8 billion.

He said about Tk 8.0 billion has been allocated in the new national budget. If needed, another Tk 5.0 billion will be allocated from the budget.

He mentioned that the government will implement the Padma Bridge project from its own financing if required funding is not available from the international donor agencies.

Replying to a question on donation by the people, he said two bank accounts which will be opened with a local bank will be consolidated accounts and nobody will be allowed to spend money from that account.

thefinancialexpress

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