B`desh asks WB to revise decision on Padma Bridge
Dhaka: Bangladesh on Sunday asked the World Bank to review its decision to scrap the Padma Bridge loan deal and said that the lending agency`s claim of having "concrete evidence" of a graft plot is "entirely baseless".
"The World Bank claim of having concrete evidence (of graft) is entirely baseless...Unacceptable," Finance Minister AMA Muhith told a press briefing at his office this evening, a day after the multilateral lending agency scrapped the USD 1.2 billion credit deal on grounds of "corruption conspiracy".
"Their (WB) all statements are against possible corruption (and) no donor money was used for the project yet...The government spent Taka 1500 crore from own funds for land acquisition (for the project) amid extreme transparency and nobody complained of anomalies in that process," Muhith said.
He said the government would now await World Bank to revise its decision as the Bangladesh representative to the Washington-based lending agency initiated a discussion for an amicable settlement of the issue.
The World Bank alleged that Bangladesh did not cooperate in investigating the graft plot though it "provided evidence from two investigations to the government high ups and the ACC (Anti-Corruption Commission) in September 2011 and April 2012.
The ACC earlier today protested World Bank indications of "non-responsiveness" on its part regarding the alleged graft plot involving the Padma Bridge project calling it "unfair, illogical and unwarranted" as `we provided them (WB) all the information relating to the findings of (our) inquiry".
ACC Chairman Ghulam Rahman told a press conference that the independent graft body only declined to keep two of the bank demands as those were beyond the legal purview of the graft body.
The World Bank earlier promised to provide USD 1.2 billion of the 2.93 billion project but kept suspended the disbursement process raising the graft allegation as the construction was initially planned to start by this year and be completed by the end of 2014 to connect southern Bangladesh with the capital.
Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia directly accused her archrival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of corrupt practices to have caused the debacle though the World Bank decision surprised most analysts and graft watchdogs.
"The government in its election manifesto had pledged to construct the bridge but its ministers opted for demanding commission before the work could start," she told a party rally.
The Bangladesh chapter of the Berlin-based global graft watchdog Transparency International Bangladesh called the World Bank decision "questionable and disappointing".
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' starts on a good note at the Box Office!
- CBSE Results 2015: 12th board exam results to be declared on May 25
- Shocking! 7 veg food items that may actually be non veg