Reported on: August 02, 2012 12:09 PM
Reported in: Business
Dhaka, Aug 2 (UNB) - Finance Minister AMA Muhith has expressed his high hope of reaching an understanding with the World Bank over funding the much-awaited Padma Bridge project.
“It’s possible to reach a solution with the World Bank very soon,” he told BBC Bangla on Wednesday.
Muhith said they think the negotiation with the World Bank has reached a certain point that made him hopeful of breaking the standoff.
Muhith was, however, scheduled to officially reveal the latest status on the much-talked-about Padma Bridge project at a press conference around 2pm at the conference room of the Ministry of Finance on Thursday that has been postponed.
Earlier, the Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) extended by a month the deadline for disbursement of the loan they pledged to provide for the project.
Muhith had called a press conference on July 1 to refute the corruption charges the World Bank had labelled against the government in cancelling its pledged loan for $ 2.9 billion project on June 29.
On July 23, the government finally swallowed the bitter pill by removing Information and Communication Technology Minister Syed Abul Hossain from the Cabinet in an apparent move to revive the World Bank’s loan deal for the Padma Bridge project.
Abul Hossain, a former communications minister who was transferred to the ICT Ministry on December 5 after the WB brought graft allegation against him in the bridge project, quit after a prolonged controversy.
On the other hand, Malaysia and Bangladesh are scheduled to hold a meeting on Aug 4-6 in Dhaka to ‘finalise matters’ related to the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project.
Malaysian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to India and South Asia, Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu, will lead the Malaysian delegation to Dhaka to give final proposal, Malaysian official news agency Bernama reported quoting official sources,