BD to propose WB to divert $1.2b Padma loan to other projects

Bangladesh will propose to the World Bank (WB) to divert the scrapped $1.2 billion fund, which was supposed to be disbursed for constructing Padma Bridge, to other development projects now being implemented with the Bank aid.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith made the announcement on Sunday, saying, “The proposal of fund diversion will be formally placed during the upcoming meeting to be held between the WB President and myself in Washington sometime in the current month”.

“This is our money ($1.2 billion). Now we will discuss with the WB on how to use the fund,” Muhith told reporters at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) after he held discussion with visiting Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai.

“We have many projects in which we can use this money”, he said.

Muhith last month wrote a letter to the Bank’s President seeking appointment.

On financing Padma Bridge with the Indian fund, the finance minister said, “India had no reservation if we use $200 million out of its promised $1.0 billion line of credit in constructing Padma Bridge.

“We will receive the first installment of the grant — US$ 50 million out of $200 million soon,” he told reporters at his ministry.

He said now the government is examining the proposals of China and Malaysia to construct the largest bridge of the country.

Besides, Muhith said he is ‘regularly discussing with ADB, JICA and IDB to bring them back to the Padma project.”

Source: Financial Express