KL to submit final proposal on Padma project in 3 weeks
It already submits ‘concession agreement’ proposal
Reported on: August 05, 2012 14:14 PM
Reported in: National
Dhaka, Aug 5 (UNB) – Malaysia will submit its final proposal on the construction of Padma Bridge within the next three weeks, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said here on Sunday.
“We can’t reach any decision before receiving the final proposal. But we don’t have any problem in accepting any realistic proposal that goes in favour of the national interest,” he told reporters at the Secretariat.
The minister said Malaysia has already submitted a ‘concession agreement’ proposal.
A concession agreement is a negotiated contract between a company and a government that gives the company the right to operate a specific business within the government's jurisdiction, subject to certain conditions.
Earlier, Quader had a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister’s special envoy to India and South Asia Dato Seri S Samy Vellu where Vellu submitted the concession agreement proposal and both had talks on the project.
Asked about details of the submitted proposal, Quader said, “For strategic reasons, we’re not telling details. We shouldn’t tell.”
He said they are still in talks, and the talks and exchanges will continue. “We’ll have more interaction during Iftar today (with Vellu) and we’ll meet again tomorrow.”
Replying to another query, Quader said the technical committee, headed by Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, will scrutinise the Malaysian proposal. “With the recommendations, it’ll be sent to the Law Ministry for vetting and then to the Cabinet. The Cabinet will take the final decision.”
He also said it is too early to reach a final decision but they are working to ensure a win-win situation for both sides.
Quader also said the government has not stepped back from its cabinet decision to construct the bridge with own funds. “We don’t want to close the door if any foreign friend or donor comes forward. We need both local and foreign supports.”
“We can’t even rule out the possibility of forming a consortium headed by Bangladesh,” Quader added.
Later, Vellu held a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the latter’s office. But both Muhith and Vellu declined to talk to the media after the meeting. When approached, Vellu said, “Your minister will talk to you.”
The visiting Malaysian delegation, led by Vellu, will also visit the Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) project site.
The Malaysian and Bangladesh governments signed a MoU in April this year and placed a concept proposal on the project to Communications Minister Obaidul Quader.
In January, Malaysia formally proposed a US$2.19-billion loan for the bridge project.
Malaysia expressed its interest in financing Bangladesh’s largest infrastructure project after the World Bank cancelled its pledged $1.2 billion fund.