The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Front Page

Muhith sceptic

Doubts Padma bridge work within govt's tenure through alternative funding

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday doubted whether Padma bridge's construction would start during this government's tenure under an alternative arrangement if the World Bank doesn't finance the project.

“We want to start the project's work quickly.” And the financial arrangement led by the WB is the best option for the government, Muhith told reporters at the finance ministry.

If the government decides to implement the project with funds from China or any alternative source, it would not be possible to start the work during this government's tenure, he said.

The finance minister said China had given a proposal for funding the project and China Development Bank will be the major financier under that arrangement.

“It would be a new party. We have to negotiate terms with them and sign an agreement. It will be very time-consuming.”

He said even if the project is implemented at a minimised cost, as suggested by the prime minister, it will take time.

The minister said if the project's work starts under the financial arrangement led by the WB, tender for bridge's construction can be invited in 10 days.

“It is in our best interest to proceed with this arrangement.”

Muhith said he has sought an appointment from the WB president to hold talks with him in the USA next month to discuss the WB's financing of the project.

Muhith said he was yet to receive any response.

He said there are some differences of opinion between the WB and the government over the time frame for the project's implementation.

“We want to start the project's work the day the WB says yes.”

When reporters told him that many think the WB is unwilling to finance the project, Muhith refuted the view and said it is a wrong public perception.

Asked whether the other two co-financiers -- ADB and Jica --will finance the project if the WB pulls out of it, Muhith said he is trying to make sure that they stay in the project.

Meanwhile, the communications ministry inked a Tk 96 crore deal with a Bangladesh-India joint venture company to protect a Padma bridge construction yard from river erosion.

According to the agreement, the company will do work along a two-kilometre stretch of the riverbank to save Janjira yard and adjacent Majhirkandi ferry ghat from erosion.

The work will begin next month and end in six months.

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, who was present at the signing ceremony, said the bridge's construction would have already started if the donors had provided the funds timely.

“We have almost completed the groundwork at a cost of Tk 1,500 crore. It would be great if the World Bank stays in the project,” he told journalists.

Quader said the government has given maximum effort to arrange funds for the project and the prime minister is monitoring everything in this project.

He reiterated that the bridge's construction would start within the present government's tenure.

Share on



 





It is time for Muhith to resign since he is a disgrace to his office for all his idiotic comments.

: Selma

Those who can read have been seeing the writings on wall for a long time. Those who are bind, like Muhith and his boss, will never see it.

: Truth Teller

Comments

  • fedup
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 01:24 AM GMT+06:00 (99 weeks ago)

    There is no reason for the Finance Minister to express his scepticism about alternative funding arrangement, surely not the Malaysian one, a duplicate copy of 'Abul's plan'. I wish he was not an alternate director from Bangladesh to represent Bangladesh in the WB bureaucracy. I hope the people of Bangladesh have already realised that bridge in question can not be built in next 2-5 years until a political consensus is built up in the country first, lack of which is actually helping the donors to go tougher and tougher showing a reason which exists every where the donors are funding projects. It is only the question of degree and level which the donors perhaps put in consideration plus their own accountability system in media and house of politics at home. Ironically donors support have not deride up for other projects in Bangladesh. The Padma project is significant politically and , therefore, pulling all quarters in one platform to weigh in the political gain and choice of governance.

  • Jumana Sarwar
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 01:50 AM GMT+06:00 (99 weeks ago)

    Mr Muhit has no time to change his position from optimist to pessimist. In a nutshell, corruption is proliferated at the highest level and disturbingly it was protected by people like Muhit and above.

  • selim reza sirajganj govt college
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 02:07 AM GMT+06:00 (99 weeks ago)

    It can not be predicted what will be delivered by our Finance Minister. Again he talked whimsically.

  • Barkat
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 03:15 AM GMT+06:00 (99 weeks ago)

    One day PM declares that Bridge will be built in this government tenure. Next day her FM comments it can't be build in this term of AL government. If the PM is so ignorant about the finance of state for such an important and mega project than she and her cabinet are in state of clueless, confused and irresponsible situation. And such situation is very dangerous for the nation.

  • Truth Teller
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 04:31 AM GMT+06:00 (99 weeks ago)

    After receiving confirmation of the appointment from the World Bank President and before going to Washington, DC, Muhith’s AL government should be booked Abul. Otherwise, it will be a total wastage of people's money. The World Bank will not fund the Padma Bridge project without Abul being implicated. This is plain and simple.

  • plaintalker
    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 09:15 AM GMT+06:00 (99 weeks ago)

    But PM Sheikh Hasina says she can do it with domestic funding.


 

 


advertisement

 


The Daily Star

© thedailystar.net, 1991-2014. All Rights Reserved