SYLHET: Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Saturday categorically said latest World Bank (WB) statement over funding Padma Bridge is confusing and unacceptable.
The minister came up with the observation while setting a founding stone of a school in district town on Saturday.
Muhith said, “Statement from World Bank Dhaka office is unacceptable as talks between government and World Bank is still underway.”
Earlier in the day, the WB issued a statement, signed by WB Country Director to Bangladesh Allen Goldstein, which reads: “The World Bank will proceed with support for the Padma Bridge only if the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) launches a full and fair investigation based on evidence of corruption under the project.”
The statement said the World Bank provided extensive information to the ACC to support such an investigation. Following its first visit to Bangladesh, the External Panel of independent anti-corruption experts encouraged the ACC to launch a full and fair investigation based on available evidence and in full accordance with Bangladeshi law.
“During its second visit to Bangladesh last week, the Panel noted several unresolved issues and further encouraged the ACC to follow available evidence in determining the scope of its investigation. The panel will issue a statement when the ACC completes its review and takes a final decision on the scope of the investigation,” said the Washington-based lender.
On June 29, the World Bank canceled a $1.2 billion credit for a Padma Bridge project with immediate effect, saying it had “credible evidence” of a high-level corruption conspiracy among officials of Bangladesh government.
“In light of the inadequate response by the government of Bangladesh, the World Bank has decided to cancel its $1.2 billion ...credit in support of the Padma multipurpose bridge project, effective immediately,” the World Bank said in a statement.
On October 10 last, the World Bank suspended funding $ 1.2 billion for the Padma Bridge project amid allegations of irregularities with it.
BDST: 2040 HRS, DEC 08, 2012
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