Padma Project: Malaysia submits ‘final draft proposal‘
Reported by: UNBConnect
Reported on: Aug 27, 2012 06:58 pm
Reported in: National
Dhaka, Aug 27 (UNB) – Malaysia has submitted the final draft proposal for constructing the Padma Bridge in partnership with the government, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said on Monday.
“They’ve handed over the final proposal in line with the preliminary proposal they submitted earlier in the month Ramadan,” the minister said.
He was briefing reporters after a meeting with an eight-member Malaysian delegation, headed by Malaysian prime minister’s special envoy to South Asia Dato Seri S Sami Vellu, at Setu Bhaban.
“They’ve submitted the final draft proposal that incorporates three phases of construction -- concession, construction and design,” he said.
Asked about the amount of fund proposed by the Malaysian authorities, the minister said, “I’ve just received the proposal. I can’t reveal all the details for technical reasons.”
Obaidul Quader, however, pointed out that the Malaysia has proposed getting involved in the Padma Bridge construction in terms of Build, Operate, Own and Transfer model, and also has laid a condition to involve Exim Bank, Malaysia’s state owned bank as the lead partner in the financing.
The government has already spent about Tk 1,100 crore on the bridge, and may have to spend about Tk 4,000-5,000 crore more, he hinted.
“The proposal will be sent to the technical committee, headed by Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, for scrutiny,” said Quader, “After the scrutiny, the proposal will be sent to the Prime Minister.”
“The Prime Minister will discuss it with a high-level committee and take the final decision,” he added.
Obaidul Quader also pointed out that the government is still considering the option of the World Bank funding, while simultaneously considering the Malaysian proposal. “Both the doors are open right now,” he said.
“We hoped that WB will be back with the funding. But there’s no sign that the cloud of uncertainty will clear out soon,” he added.
The minister also stressed that the government will kick off the Padma Bridge construction by the current fiscal year at any cost.
“It’ll take some time to finalise the deal with Malaysia, if possible,” he said.
Although the cabinet has already decided to start the bridge construction work by February next, it may take one or two months more, he added.