Political motivation behind WB scrapping of Padma fund: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at a meeting with railway ministry officials at the Secretariat in Dhaka Thursday. Photo: TV grab

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that the World Bank scrapped its promised fund for the Padma bridge project after it was politically motivated by certain quarters.

“World Bank could not even give us any proof in support of its claims of corruption in the project,” the PM said at a meeting with railway ministry officials at Railway Bhaban in Dhaka this morning.

“We challenged the WB’s allegation saying that no corruption took place in the project and it has been proved,” she claimed.

On June 30, 2012, the WB cancelled its $1.2 billion credit for the Padma bridge project, saying it has proof of corruption conspiracy involving Bangladeshi officials, executives of a Canadian firm and some individuals.

Asking for taking necessary steps to develop and expand the rail lines across the country, the premier ordered the railway officials to develop the metre-gauge and broad-gauge rail tracks as dual gauge tracks.

She criticised the railway sabotage carried out during the anti-government demonstration led by BNP and its alliances.

Hasina asked the ministry officials to take initiatives to protect the railway lines considering public safety as it has become a common practice to damage rail line during the demonstration.

The secretaries and staff of Prime Minister’s Office were, among others, present at the meeting.

Source: The Daily Star

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