World Bank (WB) is set to finalise an initial US $1.2 billion (Tk 8,400 crore) financing package for Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project at its board meeting to be held at the bank’s headquarters in Washington DC on February 24.
The bank already decided in principle to provide another US $300 million if it is required at the later stage of the project, the largest ever WB funding in a single project in the country, the officials of the multi-lending agency said here yesterday.
The project, estimated to cost $2.9 billion, is expected to unlock the economic potential of the southwest region, transforming the lives of millions of people and accelerating national growth toward country’s middle-income status.
WB financing, through a soft credit of the International Development Association (IDA), carries less than one percent interest and a repayment period of 40 years. This type of low-cost financing ensures maximum development benefits for the people of Bangladesh when the bridge is complete.
Besides, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency are funding the project as co-financiers. Communication Minister Syed Abul Hossian told the news agency yesterday that the government already sent all documents for the meeting to WB. “As soon as the World Bank approves the fund, we will start our next phase of action,” he said.