Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The World Bank (WB) will take final decision on funding the Padma bridge project only after getting the investigation report on alleged corruption charges.
“Talks are going on with the government on this issue but we will take final decision only after getting the investigation report,” WB Country Director Ellen Goldstein told reporters after a meeting of the development partners at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) in the capital Dhaka on Wednesday.
She, however, made it clear that the WB will continue its loan support for other projects.
Currently, the WB is implementing about 30 development programs involving US$4.6 billion in commitment.
Her comments came as the standoff between the Washington-based lender and the government continues.
The government earlier signed agreements with WB for $1.2 billion loan, Asian Development Bank (ADB) for $615 million, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for $400 million and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for $140 million to construct the 6.15 kilometer bridge.
But the bridge project stalled in October in 2011 following WB’s allegation of corruption in bidding process.
Canada is conducting an investigation into the alleged corruption in appointing consulting firm for the mega bridge project.
ERD Secretary Iqbal Mahmood said the Padma bridge project, the biggest ever infrastructure project in the country, was continuing and would continue.
About aid disbursement and commitment, he said both aid disbursement and commitment of the current fiscal year were better than that of the last fiscal year and it would continue to increase in future.
BBN/SSR/AD-28Mar12-9:40 pm (BST)