Financing depends on panel’s assessment: Goldstein

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World Bank Country Director Ellen Goldstein on Tuesday said the decisions by the global lender regarding future project financing in Bangladesh depend on the outcome of its external panel’s assessment.

“World Bank’s panel of internationally-recognised anti-corruption experts will issue a report assessing the adequacy of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigation once they have had an opportunity to fully review and discuss the First Information Report (FIR),” she said.

“Decisions by the World Bank regarding future project financing and implementation would depend on the outcome of the external panel’s assessment,” said Goldstein.

Earlier on Monday, the ACC after a year-long inquiry into the allegation over Padma bridge project sued seven people for allegedly conspiring to indulge in bribery.

The accused include former secretary of the Bridges Division Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, but the anti-graft body did not include in the case former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain and former state minister for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury.

The six other accused in the case filed with Banani Police Station are Superintending Engineer of Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) Kazi Mohammad Ferdous, Executive Engineer of Roads and Highways Department Reaz Ahmed Zaber, Deputy Managing Director of Engineering and Planning Consultant, a local agent Canadian firm SNC Lavalin, Mohammad Mostofa and SNC Lavalin officials Mohammad Ismail, Ramesh Shah and Kevin Wales.

Earlier on June 29, the WB cancelled its $1.2 billion funding, saying it had proof of a “corruption conspiracy” involving Bangladeshi officials, executives of a Canadian firm and some individuals.

The global lender on September 21 decided to revive the loan after the Bangladesh government agreed to the WB’s terms and conditions.

Source: The Daily Star

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